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Minister Flanagan, MoS Murphy attend the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels

European Union, Minister Charles Flanagan, MoS Dara Murphy, Security, Press Releases, Europe, Middle East and North Africa, 2015

Paris terrorist attacks; Migration; Middle East Peace Process & Eastern Partnership on Agenda

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, is in Brussels today (Monday) to attend a meeting of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers. He will be accompanied by Minister for European Affairs, Dara Murphy, TD.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Minister Flanagan stated:

"I condemn the horrific and barbarous terrorist attacks which took place in Paris on Friday night in the strongest terms. Today's Foreign Affairs Council meeting provides an important opportunity for EU Ministers to express solidarity and support to the people of France at this time of immense sadness and mourning. I will express the profound condolences of the people of Ireland.

"The Irish Government is fully committed to working with France and all of our EU partners to protect our citizens and defend and safeguard our values against attack by savage fanatical terrorists."

The meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council will observe a minute's silence at noon CET in memory of the victims of the attacks.

The meeting will also address the follow-up to the outcome of the Valletta and Western Balkan summits on migration, and UN-led efforts to find a political resolution to the conflicts in Libya and Syria. Minister Flanagan added:

"The conflicts in Syria and Libya are at the very heart of the forced displacement which has led to the current migration crisis, and of the growing spread of terrorist groups in the region, including ISIS. Ministers will discuss the situation on the ground in Syria and consider how the EU can support the UN-led process to find a lasting and sustainable settlement of the conflict. The resumption of meaningful peace negotiations at the earliest possible opportunity is the priority for Ireland and the EU. I call on all States with influence on the parties to the conflict to give their full support to the UN’s efforts.

"The Political Agreement for a Government of National Accord proposed by the UN represents a significant opportunity for Libya to move beyond the conflict and the power vacuum it has faced for the past four years. I support the EU in calling on all parties to endorse the agreement as soon as possible.

"The current migration crisis is unprecedented in Europe since World War II. Ireland’s response nationally, and in discussions with EU partners, will continue to aim at being both compassionate and practical, seeking to alleviate suffering as well as tackling the root causes of the crisis."

The Council meeting will also discuss the Middle East Peace Process and Eastern Partnership.

Minister Flanagan will travel from Brussels to Belfast where political talks continue.

 

ENDS

Press Office

16 November 2015