Minister Flanagan attends EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels15/5/17
Minister Flanagan attends EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels and holds further bilateral discussions on Brexit
Minister Flanagan attended a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels today. EU Foreign Ministers discussed the implementation of the EU Global Strategy, challenges facing the Horn of Africa region, the future of EU - Africa relations and the EU's Eastern Partnership. Minister Flanagan also held further bilateral meetings on Brexit with the Foreign Ministers of Slovakia, Bulgaria and Portugal.
Speaking after the meeting the Minister said:
"Today's meeting had a timely and welcome focus on Africa. Foreign Ministers discussed how the EU can best play a constructive role in responding to the complex humanitarian, political and security challenges facing the Horn of Africa region.
"We also discussed the future of the EU's relationship with Africa ahead of the EU - Africa Summit at the end of November. We considered the potential for building cooperation across a range of sectors, including focussing on youth and job creation, building resilient states and societies, and stepping up political cooperation. Over a working lunch we had the opportunity to further discuss these issues with the Chair of the African Union Moussa Faki Mahahat.
"High Representative Mogherini also updated the Foreign Affairs Council on the implementation of the EU Global Strategy, including the civilian response aspects of the security and defence strands.
"Finally we had a useful exchange of views on the EU's Eastern Partnership ahead of the annual Eastern Partnership Ministerial meeting in June and the fifth Eastern Partnership Summit later this year".
Minister Flanagan expressed his concern to HRVP Mogherini about reports of gross human rights violations in Chechnya against gay men and supported calls for a thorough and independent investigation into these allegations.
Prior to the meeting Minister Flanagan joined colleagues for a meeting with the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Pavlo Klimkin, who gave an update on the current security situation in the east of Ukraine, as well as an update on current reform efforts in the country.
Minister Flanagan also continued his programme of strategic engagement with EU partners on Brexit, meeting with the Foreign Ministers of Slovakia, Bulgaria and Portugal respectively to discuss Ireland's priorities on Brexit including our economy, Northern Ireland, the Common Travel Area and the future of the EU itself.
15 May 2017