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Tánaiste to discuss Iraq and Ukraine with EU Foreign Ministers

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, TD, is in Luxembourg today for a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers at which the current crisis in Iraq and developments in Ukraine will dominate discussions.

Speaking in advance of the Foreign Affairs Council, the Tánaiste said:

I am extremely concerned by the deteriorating security situation in Iraq. The surge in violence represents a serious threat to the security, not only of the Iraqi people, but of the whole region. It is critical that all Iraqi political leaders come together in a more constructive way to overcome this crisis, to reject sectarianism and promote national unity for all Iraqis. The Council discussion will give an opportunity to reaffirm this key message.

“The Council will also meet with the UN Special Representative on Iraq, Nikolay Mladenov, to review developments and discuss the plight of Iraqi civilians, half a million of whom have been forced to flee their homes as a result of this intense fighting.

“In response the growing humanitarian crisis in Northern Iraq, Ireland last week committed €200,000 of emergency aid to provide tents and hygiene kits to those most in need. We stand ready to provide further assistance.”

Ministers will hold discussions on Ukraine and Libya.

"I welcome the peace plan proposed by President Poroshenko on Friday. I call on all parties to deescalate the crisis in Ukraine and hope that the implementation of the plan will lead to a peaceful settlement there.

"I also welcome the opportunity to have a ministerial discussion about Ukraine, the first since the election of President Poroshenko on 25 May. I look forward to hearing from the newly-appointed Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, who will join us for part of these discussions”, the Tánaiste said.

Press Office
23 June 2014