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Minister Flanagan represents Ireland at EU Foreign Affairs Council


Minister Flanagan represents Ireland at EU Foreign Affairs Council 

- Minister Flanagan held bilateral talks with Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn on foreign policy & EU issues including Brexit

- Foreign Affairs Council will focus on Syria, Tunisia, Migration & the EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy

- Minister Flanagan will again emphasise the urgency of ending the suffering of the Syrian people

- Minister Flanagan will also attend a meeting of EPP Foreign Ministers & a meeting with the Ukrainian Foreign Minister

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan T.D., travelled to Luxembourg yesterday (Sunday) to meet his Luxembourg counterpart, Jean Asselborn, in advance of the gathering of EU Foreign Ministers today (Monday) for the EU Foreign Affairs Council.

Talks with Minister Asselborn focussed on the implications of the decision by the UK electorate to exit the EU. This was Minister Flanagan’s second bilateral meeting with Minister Asselborn since the UK referendum and the Ministers discussed issues for concern for each country with Minister Flanagan focussing on Northern Ireland, the Peace Process, the Common Travel Area and the border, as well as our close trading relationship with the UK. 
Following the meeting, Minister Flanagan said:
“I initiated an intensive first round of contacts with EU Foreign Ministers in the weeks following the UK referendum result when I clearly set out Ireland’s key concerns arising from the outcome. Now that the timetable for the UK triggering Article 50 has become clearer, I am engaging in another round of bilateral talks with my counterparts all around Europe to keep them well informed on Ireland’s particular concerns and also to hear from them about their own views and approaches.  I was pleased to have a further opportunity for valuable bilateral discussions with Foreign Minister Asselborn who I have a good working relationship with on the Foreign Affairs Council."

Today (Monday), Minister Flanagan has participated in a meeting of EPP Foreign Ministers, followed by a meeting with the Ukrainian Foreign Minister.  Later this morning, he will attend the Foreign Affairs Council where Syria, Tunisia, migration and the EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy are all on the agenda for discussion.
Speaking in advance of the meeting, Minister Flanagan said:

“The citizens of Syria, and in particular, those in Aleppo are enduring the most appalling suffering as result of the horrific attacks on the city. It is essential is that the EU uses its influence to engage urgently with Russia and Iran – we have to be clear that their support for the Assad regime and their participation in the regime’s actions are totally unacceptable.  I have clearly set out the urgent priority we attach to ending the conflict in Syria and the critical steps that must be taken: an immediate resumption of the ceasefires, ending the denial of humanitarian access in Aleppo and across Syria, resuming political negotiations under the UN and supporting a meaningful political transition in Syria, and legal accountability for the victims of the unspeakable crimes committed against the Syrian people”.


Press Office

17 October 2016