Tánaiste meets EU Foreign Ministers to discuss humanitarian situation in Syria20 January 2014
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, T.D., is meeting EU Foreign Ministers in Brussels today to discuss the worsening crisis in Syria.
Speaking in advance of the Foreign Affairs Council, the Tánaiste said:
“The crisis in Syria is a major human tragedy, with 9 million people now in urgent need of assistance. Ireland has been taking a lead in calling for a UN Security Council Resolution to ensure that humanitarian agencies can reach those who desperately need aid. A Security Council Resolution would increase pressure on the parties, especially the Assad regime, to lift the unacceptable restrictions which are preventing emergency assistance from reaching millions of people.
“Ireland is committed to alleviating the suffering of those displaced in Syria and neighbouring countries. Last week, the Government pledged an additional €12 million in funding to provide food, shelter and basic healthcare.
“In discussions today on the prospects for the Geneva II Conference taking place in Montreux, Switzerland, on Wednesday, I will emphasise Ireland’s clear support for the Geneva principles as the best means of assisting the emergence of a post-Assad and post-conflict Syria and a viable peace framework.”
Foreign Ministers will also discuss the crisis in the Central African Republic, where the political, security and humanitarian situation has deteriorated further.
The Tánaiste noted:
“The alarming reports of human rights abuses in the Central African Republic underline the need for the international community to step up our response. EU partners will today discuss increasing support to the country, a move which Ireland supports.
“I also welcome the discussions at the UN Security Council and at the High-Level Meeting on Humanitarian Action in the Central African Republic which takes place this morning here in Brussels.”
Ministers will also discuss relations with Russia in advance of the EU-Russia Summit at the end of this month and will review the current state of play with regard to the Middle East Peace Process.
20 January 2014