On 24 January, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney T.D. will attend a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels.
EU Foreign Ministers will have an in-depth discussion on the security situation in Europe, with a focus on Ukraine. They will also have an exchange with US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, following up on his meetings with his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts in recent days.
The Foreign Affairs Council will also discuss recent developments in Syria, Libya, Mali and Sudan.
Speaking ahead of the discussion on European security, Minister Coveney said:
“Our discussion will be an opportunity to assess the recent developments and tensions in the region, related to Russia’s sustained military build-up. The exchange with US Secretary of State Blinken will be especially timely, following his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov last week.
Ireland remains fully supportive of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and we will continue to extend solidarity to Ukraine and call on Russia to de-escalate tensions and engage constructively in dialogue.
The EU has already outlined that any further military aggression against Ukraine will have massive consequences and severe cost in response, including restrictive measures coordinated with partners, and we will reiterate this point in our discussion.”
The Minister commented on Syria:
“The humanitarian situation in Syria continues to deteriorate. With over 90% of the population living in poverty, it is expected that 14 million people will need humanitarian assistance in 2022.
As co-penholder with Norway on the Syrian humanitarian file at the UN Security Council, Ireland continues to emphasise the humanitarian imperative for aid to reach all people in need.
Ireland and Norway led negotiations on the extension of the mandate of the cross-border UN aid operation and we were pleased to see this recently extended by a further six months.”