Tánaiste to attend EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg
Press release14 October 2019
Syria, Turkish drilling, Afghanistan and Ukraine on agenda for Foreign Ministers’ discussion
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D., represents Ireland at the Foreign Affairs Council. Together with his European counterparts, he will engage in discussion on Syria, Turkish drilling off the southern coast of Cyprus, Afghanistan and Ukraine. EU Foreign Ministers will also exchange views with the Foreign Minister of Ukraine, Vadym Prystaiko, over lunch.
Speaking ahead of the meeting the Tánaiste stated:
“My EU colleagues and I will discuss the latest developments in Syria with UN Special Envoy Geir Pedersen, including the creation of the Constitutional Committee announced by the UN on 23 September. As I stated last Wednesday I am deeply troubled by the launching of a military operation in north-eastern Syria. The protection of civilians, humanitarian access and respect for international humanitarian law must be paramount and any refugee returns must be voluntary, safe and dignified. Officials in my Department met with the Turkish Ambassador on Friday to reiterate these concerns.
Turkey’s drilling activities within Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone are also on the agenda. Ireland stands in full solidarity with Cyprus and calls on Turkey to respect the sovereign rights of Cyprus and refrain from further illegal activity.
EU Foreign Ministers will also take stock of the current situation in Afghanistan, following the presidential elections at the end of September. Ireland welcomes the fact that the Presidential elections were held on time, although regrets that threats of large-scale violence likely impacted negatively on voter turnout in many areas.
We will then exchange views on Ukraine in advance of an informal lunch with Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko. The EU continues to fully support Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. We must also continue to support Ukraine in its efforts to transform its country and ensure a brighter future for its citizens.”
14th OCTOBER 2019