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Ukraine, Libya, Yemen, & counterterrorism discussed by EU Ministers

European Union, Ireland, Minister Charles Flanagan, Security, Press Releases, Middle East and North Africa, Europe, 2015

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, today attended the monthly meeting of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers where Ukraine, the on-going crises in Libya and Yemen, and the EU's efforts to combat international terrorism were among the matters discussed.

Speaking after the meeting the Minister said:

"We have maintained all along that the Ukraine crisis can only be resolved politically.

"I continue to believe that the Minsk agreement provides the basis for a solution to the crisis but a sustainable ceasefire is a key step to making progress.

"Dialogue with Russia and others remains crucial in the pursuit of a settlement that fully respects Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. It was useful to hear of the on-going efforts by Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande in that regard.

"We have also recognised the need for pressure to reinforce that dialogue and that is why today we agreed unanimously to a set of additional listings against separatists in Eastern Ukraine and their supporters in Russia. These consist of an asset freeze and travel ban on 19 individuals and 9 entities involved in action against Ukraine's territorial integrity.

"To give space for the diplomatic efforts currently on-going, we have put the entry into force of these measures on hold until Monday 16 February."

EU Ministers also discussed Counter-Terrorism:

"For the second time since the tragic attacks in Paris, we considered how the EU can most effectively prevent and combat international terrorism, including strengthening engagement with and support for, third countries, in particular in the Middle East and North Africa.

"As part of our efforts, we agreed that we should redouble our efforts to address underlying factors in particular the on-going conflicts in Europe's southern neighbourhood," Minister Flanagan said.

On Libya and Yemen, Minister Flanagan added:

“In Libya the situation remains extremely volatile, I however welcome the convening of UN brokered talks on Libya and I hope that all relevant actors will participate in this process so as to bring to an end the current conflict and the suffering being inflicted on the people of Libya.

“We also discussed the fragile situation Yemen, where I joined with my EU colleagues in expressing deep concern for the developing humanitarian, economic and security crisis in the country and our commitment to continue supporting Yemen in its political transition.”

ENDS
Press Office
9 February 2015