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Flanagan attends EU Foreign Affairs Council


Minister Flanagan to attend EU Foreign Affairs Council to discuss Counter Terrorism, Libya, Iraq and Eastern Partners

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Charlie Flanagan, TD, is in Brussels today (Monday) to attend a meeting of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers. The situation in Libya and Iraq, the EU’s external efforts to counter terrorism and the EU’s Eastern Partners are on the agenda for the meeting.

EU Ministers will also meet with the Foreign Minister of Turkey, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, to exchange views on key foreign policy issues in the region, including Syria and the threat from Daesh.
Speaking in advance of the meeting, Minister Flanagan said:

“The horrific terrorist attacks in Paris have focused Europe’s attention very firmly on the threat from extremists linked to the conflict and instability in Iraq, Libya and Syria. The further appalling attacks in Mali and Chad clearly illustrate the international dimensions to this issue and the need for the EU to step up efforts to prevent and combat terrorism.

“There is an urgent need to reach a settlement in Libya and begin the process of re-building. An effectively governed Libya would contribute significantly to addressing the growing spread of terrorist groups in the region, including ISIS.

“The EU will reaffirm its strong support to Iraq and the Government of PM Haidar Al-Abadi, focusing on how best we can support Iraqi reconciliation and the achievement of a united, sovereign and inclusive Iraq which serves the rights of Iraqis of all faiths and ethnicities.

“I also look forward to our exchange with FM Çavuşoğlu, which will allow for an important discussion on EU-Turkish cooperation in our common aim to bring peace and security to the Middle East region.”

The Foreign Affairs Council will also discuss the EU’s relationship with its Eastern Partners. Minister Flanagan stated:

“The countries of the Eastern Partnership are now at an important juncture in their relationship with the EU. The Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga in May reaffirmed the European Union’s commitment to developing its relationship with Eastern Partners. Today I look forward to discussing the most effective manner for the EU to further develop its engagement in the region.

“The EU remains fully committed to the implementation of the Ukrainian Government’s ambitious and unprecedented reform programme, which is essential if the needs and expectations of their people are to be met. Recent events in Moldova are a cause for concern however and it is imperative that progress towards complete implementation of the Association Agreement is sustained.”

Press Office
14 December 2015