Tánaiste hosts German Federal Foreign Minister at 'Global Ireland 2025' Conference
Press release08 January 2019
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D., held talks this morning with the German Federal Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, before each of them addressed the Heads of Ireland's 83 diplomatic missions, as well as key partners from Government Departments, the business and arts communities, at the annual Ambassadors’ Conference in Dublin Castle.
The Tánaiste said:
“This is Heiko's second visit to Ireland in less than a year. I was delighted to accept his invitation to address the German Ambassadors' Conference in Berlin in August and it is a reflection of the close working relationship that we have developed that he has taken the time to engage with us here just days into Germany's term as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.”
During the talks, the Tánaiste thanked Minister Maas for the solidarity shown by Germany on Brexit and both Ministers agreed on the need to maintain unity among the EU27.
The Tánaiste said:
“The European Council provided reassurances about the backstop in December and we are ready to provide additional clarifications if these are helpful. However, we cannot re-open the Withdrawal Agreement text itself, which was the product of multiple compromises and highly detailed negotiations in a very wide range of areas.”
The two Ministers reviewed progress in the implementation of the Joint Action Plan agreed in November under the report entitled “Ireland in Germany: a wider and deeper footprint” which was launched on the occasion of Minister Maas’ visit in April 2018.
“Germany is an indispensable partner for Ireland. Trade between the two countries is now valued at €34 billion per annum. The Joint Action Plan covers 27 projects or policy areas where we want to work together”, the Tánaiste said.
“They cover cooperation on research, climate action and agriculture as well as working closely with one another on effective multilateralism and at the UN. I am pleased that we are on target to open a new Consulate in Frankfurt in the autumn and that work is underway on expanding the cultural profile of the Embassy in Berlin.”
At this morning's meeting the Ministers exchanged views on transatlantic relations and discussed developments in the Middle East Peace Process.
08 January 2019