Minister Flanagan to attend EU Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg03 April 2017
Minister Flanagan to attend EU Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg to discuss Syria, Yemen and Libya
Minister Flanagan will also have further bilateral meetings re Brexit with the Foreign Ministers of Estonia & Sweden
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Charlie Flanagan TD, is in Luxembourg today (Monday) to attend a meeting of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers. Syria, Yemen and Libya are all on the agenda for discussion. EU Foreign Ministers will also meet with the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Ahmed Abou El Gheit.
This is the first meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council since the UK formally triggered Article 50 on 29 March and Minister Flanagan will continue his extensive engagement with EU counterparts by having bilateral engagements with the Foreign Ministers of Sweden and Estonia. These meetings will focus on ongoing preparations for the upcoming Brexit negotiations and Minister Flanagan will again emphasise Ireland’s priority issues, namely the economy, Northern Ireland, the Common Travel Area and our vision for the future of the EU itself.
Speaking in advance of the Foreign Affairs Council meeting, Minister Flanagan said:
“I am gravely concerned by the severe humanitarian crisis in both Syria and Yemen, which is a result of the ongoing conflict and instability in the Middle East region.
“The Yemen conflict is a reflection of wider tensions in the region and the Yemeni people are suffering to an absolutely appalling degree in this brutal conflict. Ireland has provided almost €6 million in humanitarian aid to Yemen since the conflict began and we will continue to provide support to the Yemini people.
“I commend the efforts of UN Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed and his team, who continue to work tirelessly for peace. There can be no military solution to the conflict in Yemen and I call on the parties to this conflict to make the concessions necessary for a peace deal.
“It is also clear that progress on a political transition is central to any sustainable peace in Syria. The EU must maintain its robust position in condemning in the strongest possible terms the Syrian regime’s brutality against its own people, and our call for a full cessation of hostilities, the lifting of sieges and full humanitarian access.
“Ireland will continue to play its part in supporting civilians on the ground. Ireland’s total humanitarian assistance to the victims of the Syrian crisis reached €76 million as of March 2017.
“I look forward to discussing these concerns with the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Abou El Gheit. This is a valuable opportunity to hear the regional perspective on some of the most critical issues on the FAC agenda, including Libya and the Middle East Peace Process.”
3rd April 2017