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Minister Flanagan discusses Syria with EU Foreign Ministers & announces increased humanitarian aid

Minister Charles Flanagan, Press Releases, Middle East and North Africa, Europe, 2016


Minister Flanagan discusses Syria with EU Foreign Ministers & announces increased humanitarian aid 

- EU-Africa relations, the DRC & Migration also on FAC agenda 

- Ministers meet Colombian President & Cuban Foreign Minister 

- Minister holds bilateral talks with Belgian dPM/FM Reynders

Following today's Foreign Affairs Council, Minister Flanagan said:                                                         

“Today EU Foreign Ministers had an extensive discussion on the crisis in Syria and the horrifying situation in Aleppo in particular. There was a clear consensus that the EU must press Russia and Iran to use their influence on the Assad regime to ensure that the illegal siege of the civilian population in eastern Aleppo ends and that humanitarian agencies are allowed into Aleppo.  The continued denial of essential food, shelter and medical supplies to a civilian population under military attack is intolerable.

"Ireland is working to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Syria and today I informed my colleagues that we are again increasing our humanitarian support to the victims of the Syrian conflict with immediate effect, raising our support by a further €5M to €25M in 2016.  We have contributed over €67M in humanitarian assistance to the Syrian since 2012.

"This unprecedented level of sustained humanitarian need reflects the deliberate and systematic violation of the rights of Syria’s civilian population by all sides throughout this horrific conflict. The Assad regime, in particular, bears responsibility for these crimes.  I repeated our priorities, calling for an immediate end to the violence across Syria and in Aleppo in particular; a lifting of all sieges and the systematic denial of humanitarian access; the renewal of a UN-led political process to achieve a negotiated end to the conflict and a political transition; and accountability for the crimes inflicted on millions of Syrian civilians.

"We also discussed the conditions for EU support for a post-conflict Syria. It is clear that the EU will not support the reconstruction of a Syria if a political resolution to the conflict has not been achieved.“

Before the Foreign Affairs Council, MInister Flanagan visited the Belgian Foreign Ministry for bilateral discussions with the Belgian Deputy PM, Foreign Minister Didier Reynders. Following this meeting, Minister Flanagan stated:

"I had a very good discussion with Minister Reynders this morning about a wide range of foreign policy issues. Brexit was high on our agenda. I want to thank Minister Reynders for his strong interest in Ireland's concerns, in particular in protecting the gains of the Northern Irish Peace Process in the context of Brexit.

"Ireland and Belgium have deep rooted historic links and common values. We enjoy a close and successful trading relationship. 

"Minister Reynders and I discussed the migration crisis, Syria, EU-Africa relations and our shared interest in commemorations. 

"We reaffirmed our strong commitment to a prosperous, dynamic and secure EU working for the benefit of all of our citizens."


Press Office

12 December 2016