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Tánaiste to attend meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Poland

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore T.D., will attend a two-day meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Sopot, Poland, on Friday 2 and Saturday 3 September.

The informal meeting, which is held by each Presidency during its six-monthly term, is being hosted by the Polish Foreign Minister, Radoslaw Sikorski. It will be chaired by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton.

EU Foreign Ministers will discuss the crises in Libya and Syria and how the EU and international community can most effectively respond to these.  The EU’s relations with the National Transitional Council, following the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime, and how the EU can best support reconciliation, reconstruction and the building of democracy in Libya will be of particular concern. Ministers will also discuss the state of play in the Middle East Peace Process with a focus on possible developments during the United Nations General Assembly in September relating to Palestinian statehood.  There will also be a discussion on relations with EU Strategic Partners, including Brazil, India and South Africa.

On Saturday, Foreign Ministers will discuss the EU’s Eastern Partnership, focusing on Ukraine and Belarus. They will be joined by the Foreign Ministers of the five EU candidate countries - Croatia, Iceland, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Turkey - to discuss EU initiatives with the Union’s Southern and Eastern neighbours.