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Toys and flowers are placed at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine. AP/Press Association Images

Flight MH17 and Gaza to dominate EU Foreign Affairs meeting

Charlie Flanagan calls for immediate ceasefire to conflict in Gaza, and urges all sides involved in the Ukraine conflict to cooperate on MH17 inquiry.

THE NEW MINISTER for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan is meeting his EU colleagues in Brussels today to discuss the crisis in Gaza and the situation concerning Flight MH17 and the conflict in Ukraine.

The minister last week met with the Israeli ambassador to Ireland to express the Irish Government’s “deep concern” over the escalating violence. The Government has called for an immediate ceasefire “to avoid further loss of life and suffering”.

The death toll from the past fortnight of violence rose above 550 by yesterday evening.

Yesterday, Flanagan announced €500,000 in emergency support for families affected by the conflict in Gaza. The funding release was in response to an urgent appeal by the UN and is earmarked for emergency food, shelter, and healthcare.

Speaking ahead of today’s meeting of EU foreign affairs ministers, Flanagan reiterated the Irish Government’s calls for a ceasefire:

The appalling violence now being witnessed in Gaza and Israel is absolutely unacceptable. It is incumbent on all sides to agree an immediate ceasefire. All Palestinians and Israelis have the right to live in peace and security and without the threat of indiscriminate violence.

Flanagan also voiced his concern over the “ongoing security and humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine”.

“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of all the victims of flight MH17, who have suffered such a sudden and devastating loss,” the Foreign Affairs Minister said.

Flanagan will support calls for a “full investigation to ensure that those responsible for this tragic incident are brought to justice”:

It is imperative that all sides involved in the conflict in Ukraine work together to ensure that the bereaved families get the answers they need.

Books of condolence for the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 opened in Dublin yesterday.

- Additional reporting by the AFP

Originally posted 9:35 pm

Read: Here’s what Pro-Israel and Pro-Palestine groups in Ireland have to say about the conflict >

Read: Bereaved dad writes heartbreaking letter to “murderers of my loved and only child” >

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