Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has arrived in Jordan, where he opened a new embassy, in a move he said he hoped would deepen ties between the two countries.

Whilst in the capital Amman, Mr Coveney also visited a UNHCR community centre for refugees, many of whom have fled the conflict in neighbouring Syria.

Close to 300 Syrian refugees, who are currently in Jordan, are expected to travel to Ireland by the end of this year, after the final selection process was put on hold due to travel restrictions during the pandemic.

Jordan currently has over 672,000 refugees from Syria registered in its territory and the ongoing fighting was one of the issues Minister Coveney discussed with his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi.

The Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration, and Youth is also expected to travel to Jordan later this month, along with members of An Garda Síochána and the Director of the Irish Refugee Protection Programme Eibhlin Byrne, who will help oversee the selection process.

It follows a similar mission to Beirut in Lebanon in September.

Minister Simon Coveney is in Jordan as part of a four-day visit to the Middle East.

Yesterday he was in Israel and also made his fifth visit as foreign minister to the occupied Palestinian territories where he announced an additional €2.4 million in additional support for the Palestinian people.

The package includes €2 million for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides essential services to 5.7 million Palestine refugees in Gaza, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. It brings Ireland's support to the agency to €9 million this year.