Minister Flanagan attends EU Foreign Affairs Council20/6/16
Minister Flanagan attends EU Foreign Affairs Council to discuss the Arctic, the Sahel, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Middle East Peace Process and visa liberalisation in the context of EU-Georgia relations
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Charlie Flanagan TD, attended a meeting of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers in Luxembourg today. The Arctic, the Sahel, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP) and visa liberalisation in the context of EU-Georgia relations were discussed.
Speaking after the meeting, Minister Flanagan said:
"Today’s Council was an opportunity for EU Ministers who had not been at the Paris conference on 3 June to be briefed on the discussions there. I spoke to underline Ireland’s support for the French initiative to try and restore momentum to the peace process. Against that background, I also briefed the Council on my discussions in the Middle East last week, including with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and opposition leader Hertzog, with Palestinian Prime Minister Hamdallah and Foreign Minister Malki, and Egyptian Foreign Minister Shoukry, as well as the Secretary General of the Arab League. At the meeting, EU Foreign Ministers welcomed the outcome of the Paris Conference and reaffirmed the EU's commitment to working towards a two-state solution."
Foreign Ministers also discussed the Sahel region, including the ongoing crisis in Mali. Minister Flanagan said:
"We had a very good discussion on the Sahel region today. We touched in particular on the peace process in Mali, but also on the welcome developments in regional cooperation among the G5 Sahel countries - Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. Achieving a solution to the crisis in Mali is essential for the welfare and security of all the countries in the region. Foreign Ministers today reaffirmed our commitment to support implementation of the Peace Agreement which was signed a year ago.
Ireland will continue to play its part. In the period 2014-2015, we provided some €2.6 million in civil society and humanitarian funding to Mali. We currently contribute 13 personnel to the UN-mandated EU Training Mission. These personnel provide training to the Mali Armed Forces and operate also in support roles at the mission HQ in Bamako. My Department also funds the secondment of a human rights and gender advisor to the EU civilian mission, EUCAP Sahel Mali, which provides training to the Mali police and internal security forces."
20 June 2016
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