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Minister Flanagan attends informal meetings of EU and OSCE Foreign Ministers

Minister Charles Flanagan, Press Releases, Europe, 2016

 

Minister Flanagan attends informal meetings of EU and OSCE Foreign Ministers to discuss Ukraine, Turkey, EU Global Strategy and Counter-Terrorism 

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Charlie Flanagan T.D., will attend a meeting of OSCE Foreign Ministers in Potsdam on 1 September, and an informal meeting of EU Foreign Ministers hosted by the Slovak Presidency in Bratislava on 2 and 3 September. 

Minister Flanagan stated:

“These two meetings are an important opportunity for Ministers to hold informal discussions on the serious foreign policy challenges facing us. At the end of the traditional political recess period, this is an opportunity to take stock and plan for the months ahead.

“I expect the OSCE meeting to consider the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, which has proved beyond doubt that a departure from OSCE principles can only lead to conflict and undermine the security of the OSCE region. The infringements of that country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are in clear violation of the principles of the Helsinki Act. The increase in violence over the summer and the sharp escalation in tensions over Crimea are deeply worrying. The key to resolving the crisis remains the comprehensive implementation of the Minsk Agreements to which there is no alternative. 

“The discussion on Ukraine will continue at the ‘Gymnich’ meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council.  EU Ministers will also have an opportunity to discuss developments in Turkey.  I strongly condemned the coup that took place in Turkey on 15 July, and called for an early return to stability, and respect for the legitimate institutions of the State. Ireland supports a stable and democratic Turkey, and I had expressed concerns about human rights, rule of law and freedom of expression, particularly media expression, even before the attempted coup.  Our clear message must be one of support for democracy, human rights and rule of law in Turkey with an emphasis on the need for restraint and consensus- building.

“I look forward to hearing from the EU High Representative, Federica Mogherini, on the follow up to the recently-published EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy. The Strategy commits the European Union to promoting peace, prosperity, democracy and the rule of law, and to tackling the root causes of the challenges facing the international community, such as migration and extremism.  We must now begin the important task of carrying forward work in this regard.

“I will also participate in a discussion with the Foreign Ministers of EU Candidate Countries on counter-terrorism and preventing and countering radicalisation.  Active engagement with our international partners and organisations is a vital avenue in our continuing counter-terrorism efforts, which must be comprehensive in their approach and in full compliance with international law and respect for human rights.”

EU Foreign Ministers will also meet informally with the Foreign Ministers of the Eastern Partnership countries to consider the future development of the relationship between the Eastern Partners and the EU. 

Ends

Press Office

1st September 2016