Minister Murphy attends EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels14 November 2016
Minister Murphy attends EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels to discuss Turkey, Eastern Partnership, Southern Neighbourhood, and the EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy
The Minister of State for European Affairs, E.U. Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Dara Murphy TD, attended a meeting of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers in Brussels today. Turkey, Eastern Partnership, Southern Neighbourhood, and the EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy were discussed.
Speaking after the meeting, Minister Murphy said:
“Ministers today discussed the recent developments in Turkey which are of serious concern. Renewed suggestions that a bill may be introduced to parliament to reinstate the death penalty, the arrest of the two co-chairs of the pro-Kurdish HDP and other members of parliament and the further media crackdown is deeply worrying. Notwithstanding the sensitive security situation in Turkey following the attempted coup last July, it is vital that the rule of law, freedom of expression and democracy should prevail. A return to political dialogue is paramount to re-establish stability in the south-east of Turkey. All sides should cease hostilities and return to dialogue so that the political process to resolve the Kurdish issue is resumed. I condemn terrorism in all its forms, including attacks carried out by so-called Islamic State or Da’esh, the PKK and their affiliates. I extend my sympathy to those bereaved or injured by the bombing in Diyarbakir on 4 November.”
EU Foreign Ministers also discussed the Eastern Partnership and the Southern Neighbourhood. Minister Murphy said:
“The ongoing conflict in Syria and effects on the civilian population are of the gravest concern. The Syrian regime has primary responsibility for the protection of the Syrian population. Ireland and the EU have strongly condemned the excessive and disproportionate attacks by the regime and its allies against civilians, and called on them to cease indiscriminate aerial bombardments. I strongly support the UN-led efforts to find a political solution that can deliver a peace deal and end the suffering of the Syrian people.
We also discussed the Eastern Partnership and adopted Council Conclusions which reiterate the EU’s commitment to the initiative. Ireland is very supportive of the Eastern Partnership as a flexible and inclusive framework for cooperation and dialogue with our Eastern Neighbours. It is important that this initiative continues to incentivise reform for these countries.”
Defence Ministers joined the Council discussion on the implementation of the EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy. Minister Murphy said:
“Today we met in joint session with our Defence colleagues to discuss the security and defence elements of the EU Global Strategy. This forms part of the EU's comprehensive strategy to promote democracy, peace, prosperity, human rights and the rule of law internationally. Our focus is to strengthen the EU’s capacity to promote stability and peace in its neighbourhood through its engagement in UN mandated peacekeeping, conflict prevention and crisis management missions. Our work today contributes to that objective.”
Minister Murphy also attended an informal meeting of Foreign Ministers hosted by the High Representative to discuss the EU-US relationship. The Minister said:
"This informal meeting was an opportunity to for an initial exchange of views on the foreign policy implications of the outcome of the US Presidential election. Ireland wishes to see strong EU-US cooperation continuing on the basis of our shared values."
14th November 2016