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Statement on Moria camp by Minister for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne T.D.

"Like so many people, I have been deeply saddened by the appalling fire which swept and destroyed the Moria camp on Lesbos earlier this week. This tragedy has once again highlighted the need for urgent action on the part of the EU to address the current migration situation in the Mediterranean. I have already reached out to my Greek counterpart, Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, with whom I spoke in the immediate aftermath of the fire, to offer Ireland’s full support and solidarity at this terrible time.

A major humanitarian emergency now exists on the island of Lesbos. The Government is urgently considering what immediate assistance we can provide from our humanitarian logistics base in Brindisi, in response to the urgent appeal for assistance from the Greek authorities.

In the coming weeks, the European Commission is due to publish a major new proposal on reforming the EU migration and asylum system - a “New Pact on Migration and Asylum”. I look forward to the release of this proposal and to continuing to work closely will my fellow Ministers for  European Affairs to progress efforts at devising solutions to the challenges posed by the migration crisis, through forging a consensus among Member States based on solidarity and responsibility."

ENDS

Press Office

11 September 2020

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