Tánaiste joins EU Foreign Ministers in welcoming progress in Burma23 April 2012
Luxembourg, 23 April, 2012 – At today’s meeting of EU Foreign Ministers, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore T.D., welcomed the decision to suspend sanctions against Burma. The Tánaiste also announced that the Government is considering how it might support the UN Observer Mission in Syria.
The Tánaiste and his EU counterparts also discussed developments in Afghanistan and the outcome of the recent talks with Iran on its nuclear programme. On the border dispute between Sudan and South Sudan the EU pledged its support for comprehensive regional action to prevent an escalation of the conflict.
Speaking following the Foreign Affairs Council, the Tánaiste said:
“At today’s meeting we agreed to suspend the sanctions - apart from the arms embargo - against Burma, a decision which will facilitate increased cooperation with the EU. It is recognition of the important and long awaited move toward democracy in Burma and the success in the recent by-elections of the pro-democracy leader and Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi and her party.
While the situation in Burma has improved significantly, I remain concerned that further steps need to be undertaken by the Burmese authorities. In particular, I want to see the release of all political prisoners and the establishment of comprehensive human rights protection measures. Today’s decision to suspend the sanctions is a first step and a signal that Europe stands ready to work with Burma to achieve further progress in the direction of reform and democratization.
On Syria, I warmly welcomed the adoption of the Security Council Resolution this weekend. The Syrian regime cannot be in any doubt now about the degree of international support which exists for the full implementation of the Annan Plan. Ireland is actively considering how we can support the UN observer mission.”