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Minister Flanagan & EU counterparts discuss Ukraine, Libya, Egypt & MEPP at Foreign Affairs Council


Minister Flangan & EU counterparts discuss Ukraine, Libya, Egypt and the Middle East Peace Process at Foreign Affairs Council

- Minister Flanagan discusses Brexit with Italian Foreign Minister, Angelino Alfano

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Charlie Flanagan TD, participated in a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels today. Ukraine, Libya, Egypt and the Middle East Peace Process were all on the agenda for discussion by the EU's Foreign Ministers.

Speaking after the meeting, Minister Flanagan said:

"Today myself and my EU colleagues had a valuable discussion on the ongoing conflicts and instability in the neighbourhood of the European Union

"I had an in-depth discussion with Ministers on Ukraine which focussed on the important progress made on implementing the country’s programme of economic and political reform. We also discussed the conflict in the Donbas. The rapid deterioration in the security situation there is a source of deep concern. I urge all sides to halt this senseless bloodshed and fulfil their commitment to respect the ceasefire, withdraw heavy weapons and work towards the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements.

"The political crisis in Libya continues to be of serious concern. The Council adopted conclusions today which support regional mediation efforts and reaffirm the EU’s view of the Libyan Political Agreement as the sole framework for the solution of the Libyan crisis, while strongly emphasising the need for inclusivity.

"We also had a general exchange of views on the Middle East Peace Process, in light of a number of developing factors. These include some troubling aspects on the ground – settlement expansion, on which myself and other Ministers, as well as the EU as a whole, have made clear statements; the legalisation bill in the Knesset and other issues. The position of the new US Administration will of course be very important, but it is too soon to tell exactly what that is. Myself and other EU colleagues will be using every opportunity  to explain and reaffirm the long standing policies which the EU and previous US Administrations have followed, and why a united international approach is more important now than ever.

"Today at the Foreign Affairs Council we also had an opportunity to discuss the EU-Egypt relationship and how best to promote our interests and values with this very important regional partner for the EU. In a region beset by many serious problems, we need to work together to promote stability and address the challenges of extremism, insecurity, fragility, economic development, democratic transition and the role of civil society."

Minister Flanagan also met with the newly-appointed Italian Foreign Minister, Angelino Alfano, as part of the Government’s programme of engagement with EU partners on Brexit. They discussed ongoing preparations for the upcoming negotiations including Ireland’s priority issues of the economy, Northern Ireland, the Common Travel Area and the future of the EU.

Press Office

06 February 2016