Skip to main content

Statement by Tánaiste Simon Coveney after EU Foreign Affairs Council

European Union, Ireland, Tánaiste Simon Coveney, Press Releases, Ireland, Middle East and North Africa, 2018


The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Simon Coveney T.D., was in Brussels today to attend a meeting of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers.

The EU Foreign Affairs Council discussed Iran, Gaza, Venezuela, DRC and the EU’s future relationship with African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.

Speaking after the meeting, the Tánaiste said:

“Today was an important opportunity for EU Foreign Ministers to discuss the Iran nuclear agreement following the US announcement that it is withdrawing from the agreement. The EU reaffirmed that it would continue to fully support the agreement as long as Iran complies with its commitments.  The EU and the US share many core values, but this is an issue on which we have different views. I emphasised that the EU should work in a spirit of cooperation with our American partners to find a workable solution to the current situation.

"EU Ministers also had a discussion on the recent developments in Gaza. The EU reaffirmed its support for the two state solution, and noted the importance of providing humanitarian and other support to improve conditions for the people of Gaza. I expressed my deep concern at the force used against protesters in Gaza and noted the importance of offering hope, economic support and a genuine political perspective for the Palestinian people. I will be travelling to the region next week, including to Israel and Palestine, where I intend to raise these issues.

"On Venezuela, where elections went ahead on 20 May in the absence of conditions for a credible and inclusive process,  EU Ministers called for free and transparent elections respecting the Constitutional rules of Venezuela. Ministers also expressed concern for the deteriorating humanitarian, political and economic situation, and noted their readiness to impose additional targeted sanctions against persons implicated in the violation of human rights and non-respect for the rule of law. 

"Ministers discussed political and humanitarian developments in DRC and also had an exchange of views the upcoming negotiations between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, known as the Post-Cotonou Agreement. This agreement has the potential to re-energise our political, economic and development cooperation relationships."

Press Office
28 May 2018