Minister Flanagan welcomes UAE Foreign Minister H.H. Sheikh Abdullah to Ireland20 February 2017
Minister Flanagan welcomes UAE Foreign Minister H.H. Sheikh Abdullah to Ireland
Minister Flanagan and Tánaiste Fitzgerald hold talks with Sheikh Abdullah at Iveagh House
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan T.D., welcomed UAE Foreign Minister H.H. Sheikh Abdullah to Ireland today. Sheikh Abdullah was visiting Ireland at the invitation of Minister Flanagan. Sheikh Abdullah was accompanied by the Emirati Minister of State for Higher Education, HE Dr Belhoul Al Falasi.
Minister Flanagan, along with the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald T.D., held talks with Sheikh Abdullah at Iveagh House on a range of issues of mutual concern.
Speaking after the meeting, Minister Flanagan said:
“I was delighted to welcome H.H. Sheikh Abdullah to Ireland today to build on the progress made during my visit to the UAE in November. This visit provides was an opportunity to strengthen the excellent relationship between Ireland and the UAE which includes very strong people to people links as well as a very important trade dimension.
“Following my trade mission to UAE last November which involved companies from all over Ireland, I was pleased to have the opportunity to renew discussions with Sheikh Abdullah about the opportunities for Irish companies in the United Arab Emirates. The excellent connectivity between our two countries has allowed trade to flourish and in 2015 total bilateral trade was valued at €1,635 million, a 70% increase on 2014.
“My meeting with Sheikh Abdullah also offered a further opportunity to convey key messages to an important partner in the Gulf about Ireland's position in light of the U.K. vote to leave the European Union and the forthcoming triggering of Article 50. I made clear that Ireland remains absolutely committed to the European Union and will remain a strong and active member of the Union and will continue to be a vital gateway to the EU market for overseas investors.
“At our meeting we discussed political and cultural relations, the Middle East Peace Process and the conflict in Yemen. I greatly valued the opportunity to hear the perspective of Sheikh Abdullah on events in the Middle East region.”
Minister Flanagan visited the UAE twice as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, most recently in November when he led a three day trade mission to the Gulf. This was Sheikh Abdullah’s third visit to Ireland as Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Sheikh Abdullah, accompanied by the Emirati Minister of State for Higher Education, HE Dr Belhoul Al Falasi, and the UAE’s Ambassador to Ireland, H.E. Dr Saeed Al Shamsi, also met with Minister for Education and Skills, Mr. Richard Bruton T.D., and with the Ceann Comhairle, Seán Ó Fearghaíl, during his visit.
Minister Flanagan had earlier accompanied Sheikh Abdullah on a visit to Trinity College where he viewed the Book of Kells and toured the Long Room.
20 February 2017