Tánaiste Coveney attends EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels to discuss the post-Cotonou framewor
Press release22 January 2018
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Simon Coveney TD, today attended a meeting of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers in Brussels.
Foreign Ministers discussed the post-Cotonou framework1, Libya and the Middle East Peace Process. The Tánaiste also attended an informal lunch meeting of EU Foreign Ministers with the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas.
Speaking after the meeting, the Tánaiste said:
“This year will see the EU and partner countries in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) negotiating a successor agreement to the Cotonou Agreement. The Council had a useful preliminary exchange on this issue. Ireland has been a strong supporter of the EU Partnership with the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, based on our shared focus on eradicating poverty and hunger, promoting trade and political dialogue, and addressing issues such as climate change, conflict and inequality. The negotiations offer a good opportunity to re-energise these partnerships.
Ministers also discussed the situation in Libya, and were briefed by UN Special Representative for Libya Ghassan Salamé. Ireland fully supports Salamé's efforts to implement the UN Action Plan for Libya. We support the formation of a functioning government under the framework of the Libyan Political Agreement. A political solution, that is Libyan owned and led, remains the only way forward for the people of Libya.
The Council reaffirmed its commitment toward the two state solution in the Middle East Peace Process. On the basis of my recent visit to Israel and Palestine, I urged the EU to be more active in support of restarting negotiations and that we offer assistance to the US in making this a success. I also expressed my concern in relation to the US’s decision to suspend much of its funding to UNRWA.
I was pleased to meet again with President Abbas, and to reiterate my strong support for the two state solution and for Palestinian aspirations for statehood, as an outcome of an agreement between the parties."