EXECUTIVE RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE MIDDLE EAST: REVEALED

There has been alot of attention paid recently to the contacts between political parties of the Executive and Israeli delegations or officials in particular, so BtP decided to investigate and seek to uncover the relationship between parties in the Executive with both Isreali and Palestinian representatives and Governments.

We asked both the Executive Office, formerly OFMDFM and the Department of the Economy, formerly DETI, to release all Ministerial correspondence sent to or received from the Israeli and/or Palestine Embassy/Consulate or Government Department; dates and minutes of meetings with Israeli and/or Palestinian trade delegations, consular officials and government officials; and details of any trips to Israel and/or Palestine by any Minister or departmental official since 2007.

In relation to the Executive Office, the response was partially redacted because ‘releasing the information is likely to prejudice the UK’s interests.   For clarity, we chose both these Departments as there was a transition by Arlene Foster from DETI Minister to First Minister in the period.

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Correspondence sent or received by/to any Israeli Embassy/Consulate or Government Department from the relevant Ministers:

February 2009 – Letter from the Deputy Head of Mission in the Embassy of Israel Re:

the Ambassador’s proposed visit to Belfast (04/02/09) and a letter of reply from the

First Minister and deputy First Ministers’ Private Secretaries (27/02/09)

18th December 2014 – Letter from the First Minister and deputy First Minister to

Israeli Ambassador in reply to his concerns regarding the removal of an historical

blue wall plaque in Belfast commemorating the birthplace of Chiam Herzog.

 

Dates of meetings with Israeli trade delegations, consular officials, Ambassadors and government officials:

7 May 2009 – the First Minister and deputy First Minister met the Israeli Ambassador,

HE Ron Prosser – as this was a diplomatic meeting no formal minute of the

discussion was recorded.

14 March 2011 – the First Minister and Junior Minister Robin Newton had lunch with

the Israeli Ambassador, HE Ron Prosser

20 February 2013 – Junior Ministers Jonathan Bell and Jennifer McCann met the

Israeli Ambassador, HE Daniel Taub – no minute of the meeting was recorded

12 June 2014 – Junior Ministers Jonathan Bell and Jennifer McCann met Deputy

Israeli Ambassador, Mr Etian Na’eh – no minute of the meeting was recorded

 

Details of trips to Israel by any Minister or departmental official:

15-18 February 2012 – Junior Minister Jonathan Bell visited Israel to attend the Equal

Employment Opportunities Commission (EU-EEOC) Twinning Project Closing

Conference.

 

flag_of_palestine-svg

Correspondence sent or received by/to any Palestinian Embassy/Consulate or

Government Department from the relevant Ministers:

Nil

 

Dates and minutes of meetings with Palestinian trade delegations, consular

officials, Ambassadors and government officials:

6 May 2014 – the deputy First Minister and Junior Minister Jonathan Bell met the

Palestinian Ambassador to the UK, HE Ahmed Abdelrazek – no minute of the

meeting was recorded

 

Details of any trips to Palestine by any Minister or departmental official:

Nil

 

31/07/08 – dFM and Junior Minister Donaldson met with the Israel-Palestine Joint

Committee on Culture of Peace – no minute of the meeting was recorded.

 

Contacts by the Department of the Economy (formerly DETI)

 

Correspondence sent or received by/to any Israeli Embassy/Consulate or

Government Department from the relevant Ministers and all correspondence sent or

received by/to any Palestinian Embassy/Consulate or Government Department from

the relevant Ministers.

April 2010 – Invitation to Arlene Foster MLA from the Ambassador of Israel (to the UK)

June 2009 – Letter from the Ambassador of Israel (to the UK) to Arlene Foster MLA

June 2009 – Letter from Arlene Foster MLA to the Ambassador of Israel (to the UK)

March 2016 – emails between the Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, and

the Embassy of Israel, London

 

Dates and minutes of meetings with Israeli or Palestinian trade delegations,

consular officials, ambassadors and government officials.

Meetings took place on 7 May 2009 and 30 April 2013. No minutes are held in relation to

either of these meetings.

 

Details of any trips to Israel or Palestine by any Minister or departmental official

for any reason in the same timescale.

27 to 29 March 2012 – Three officials from the Department of Enterprise Trade and

Investment and the Department for Employment and Learning participated in a Business

Science & Technology fact finding trip to look particularly at University Business Links and Business Incubators.

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