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Tánaiste to discuss Syria at EU Foreign Affairs Council

European Union, Press Releases, Middle East and North Africa, 2013

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore T.D,  accompanied by the Minister of State for European Affairs, Lucinda Creighton T.D., will attend the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels tomorrow (Wednesday 31 January). 

The main item on the agenda is the situation in Syria.  The meeting takes place a day after the UN Donors’ Conference in Kuwait - where Ireland pledged a further €4.7 million in emergency aid – and yesterday’s meeting of the UN Security Council in New York.  

Speaking ahead of the Council the Tánaiste said:
“Special Envoy Brahimi told the UN Security Council yesterday that the UN must act without delay to stop the slaughter in Syria.  I fully support his efforts.  At the Donor’s Conference yesterday Ireland sent a clear message regarding our commitment to and solidarity with the Syrian people.  Ireland and our EU partners must look at what additional measures we can take to prevent any further escalation in the violence and help achieve a political solution that offers the Syrian people a real chance for peace and democracy.”  

Foreign Ministers will also discuss the situation in Mali, including the establishment and deployment of an EU Training Mission.  They will take stock of the situation in Somalia and the Horn of Africa and will meet with the President of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.  The Tánaiste visited Somalia last year and Ireland provides a deployment of 10 Defence Force personnel to the European Union Training Mission to Somalia including the Head of Mission, Brigadier General Gerald Aherne.