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Minister Coveney to attend EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels


The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade with special responsibility for Brexit, Mr. Simon Coveney TD,

Mr. Simon Coveney TD, is in Brussels today to attend a meeting of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers. The EU Global Strategy, Libya and DPRK are on the agenda. Ministers will also meet with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Mr. Filippo Grandi and Director General of the International Organisation for Migration Mr. William Lacy Swing to discuss migration along the Central Mediterranean route.

Speaking in advance of the meeting, Minister Coveney said:

"I look forward to attending the Foreign Affairs Council which will discuss North Korea, Libya, the EU Global Strategy and the migration crisis. I also look forward to meeting with the High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini after the Council. I will use the opportunities of the Council and my bilateral meeting with High Representative Mogherini to brief colleagues on my recent visit to the Middle East.

"I am deeply concerned about the humanitarian crises resulting from migration along the Central Mediterranean route. Today’s meeting will provide an opportunity to hear at first hand about some of the very difficult conditions facing migrants in Libya. I will inform the Council of Government and Dáil approval for the participation of the Defence Forces in EUNAVFOR Operation Sophia in the Central Mediterranean, as an indication of Ireland’s sincere commitment to the EU’s continuing efforts to find a satisfactory solution to the migrant crisis. Today’s meeting also provides the opportunity for discussion on political developments in Libya.

"The Council will also have an exchange of views on the deterioration of the situation in the Korean peninsula. The reported launch by the DPRK of an intercontinental ballistic missile on 4 July is a deeply worrying development which threatens peace and security in the entire north east region of Asia and beyond. Ireland fully supports the international sanctions regime against North Korea given its continued disregard for its international obligations. I am also deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation in the DPRK.

I look forward to a discussion with my EU counterparts on future priorities for the implementation of the EU Global Strategy, which underpins the EU’s contribution to international peace and stability. I particularly welcome the intention to focus on EU support for global governance and multilateralism."

While in Brussels Minister Coveney also plans to meet with the Foreign Ministers of Belgium, Spain and the UK to discuss Brexit, with an emphasis on Ireland’s priority issues for the negotiations, namely the economy, Northern Ireland, the Common Travel Area and the future of the EU.