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Minister of State Murphy to attend EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels

European Union, MoS Dara Murphy, International relations, Security, Press Releases, Middle East and North Africa, Europe, Ireland, 2016

 

Minister of State Murphy to attend EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels to discuss Turkey, Eastern Partnership, Southern Neighbourhood, and the EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy

The Minister of State for European Affairs, E.U. Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Dara Murphy TD, is in Brussels today to attend a meeting of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers. Turkey, Eastern Partnership, Southern Neighbourhood, and the EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy are all on the agenda for discussion.

Speaking in advance of the meeting, Minister Murphy said:

“I am deeply concerned about the recent developments in Turkey. Ireland condemned the coup as a criminal act and an attack on democracy, and acknowledged the traumatic shock it was for the people of Turkey. However, the challenging circumstances which the Turkish authorities are facing in the wake of the attempted coup last July do not justify any undermining of the fundamental democratic principles of human rights and the rule of law. Intensified media restrictions, the closure of more media outlets, and erosion of freedom of expression are a growing cause for concern. The arrests of the editor-in-chief and journalists of Cumhuriyet, and the co-chairs and several elected representatives of the opposition party, HDP, are deeply worrying.”

EU Foreign Ministers will also discuss the Eastern Partnership and the Southern Neighbourhood. Minister Murphy said:

“Ireland strongly supports the Eastern Partnership, which is based on a mutual commitment to strengthening respect for human rights, democracy, the rule of law, and fundamental freedoms. It is an essential tool for building a peaceful and prosperous Eastern Neighbourhood.

In relation to the Southern Neighbourhood, we will be having a discussion on how to work with our international partners on the effort to renew the political process in Syria. Our focus is on strengthening EU unity and ensuring a strong EU position in the search for an end to the conflict. We will also discuss the humanitarian crisis in Syria and the ongoing efforts by the EU to reach populations in need of humanitarian assistance and in eastern Aleppo in particular."

Defence Ministers will join the Council discussion on the implementation of the EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy. Minister Murphy said:

“I am looking forward to the discussions we will have along with EU Defence Ministers. The High Representative will present the Implementation Plan that she has drawn up for the security and defence strand of the Global Strategy. Ireland is a strong supporter of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). CSDP contributes through external action to address fragility and conflict and support stability and rule of law in our neighbourhoods. As the Global Strategy rightly recognises, “our security at home depends on peace beyond our borders”. It is important that the EU has the ability to promote stability and peace in its neighbourhood through its engagement in UN mandated peacekeeping, conflict prevention and crisis management missions”.

ENDS
Press Office
14th November 2016