Taoiseach Simon Harris discusses Gaza and Ukraine with EU leaders

Taoiseach Simon Harris Discusses Gaza And Ukraine With Eu Leaders
New Taoiseach, © PA Wire/PA Images
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By Gráinne Ní Aodha, PA

Taoiseach Simon Harris discussed Gaza and support for Ukraine with EU leaders as he held several meetings on Thursday.

The new Taoiseach is meeting senior European figures in Brussels and Warsaw on his second full day in office.


On Wednesday, the Taoiseach spoke on the phone with Northern Ireland First Minister Michelle O’Neill and deputy First Minister Emma Little-Pengelly, UK prime minister Rishi Sunak, and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said that Mr Harris was “taking office in challenging times” after their meeting in Brussels on Thursday afternoon.

“I’m glad to count on Ireland in our unwavering support to Ukraine & our efforts to help restore stability in the Middle-East. Glad also to see you so committed to Europe’s future competitiveness,” she said on the social media site X.



Mr Harris’s first meeting on Thursday was with European Parliament president Roberta Metsola, a Maltese MEP.

“We discussed Gaza, Ukraine and my conversation with @ZelenskyyUa as well as our priorities for the EU,” Mr Harris said on X.

Ms Metsola said: “Great to have you at the European Parliament, Simon Harris, just a few hours after being elected Taoiseach of Ireland.

“Together Europe and Ireland have come a long way in ensuring prosperity, peace and positive transformation. Moving forward, we must stay the course: united.”



Mr Harris is to travel to Warsaw to hold a bilateral meeting with the president of the European Council, Charles Michel.

He will also meet with Poland’s prime minister Donald Tusk and Spain’s prime minister Pedro Sanchez, as well as the premiers of Luxembourg, Estonia, Finland and Greece.

Mr Harris said on Instagram on Wednesday that Mr Sanchez is to travel to Dublin on Friday so they can discuss “our joint view in relation to the need to recognise the state of Palestine”, adding that he wanted to see progress made on the issue.

On Tuesday, the day Mr Harris became Taoiseach, it was announced in the Dáil that Ireland plans to recognise the state of Palestine along with Spain, Belgium and Malta.

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