Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney TD, was in Brussels recently to attend a meeting of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers. Ministers will discuss the Western Balkans, EU-African Union cooperation, Iran, Ukraine and Venezuela
Speaking in advance of the meeting, the Tánaiste said: “Ministers will have an exchange of views on the Western Balkans. Ireland strongly supports all efforts to enhance stability and economic growth in the region. Providing a credible European perspective is essential for the countries of the Western Balkans.
“We will have a discussion on EU-African Union cooperation, ahead of the inaugural AU-EU Ministerial, which will take place in January. Ireland is strongly supportive of strengthening AU-EU working relations. The Finnish Foreign Minister, Timo Soini, and I have written a joint letter to High Representative Mogherini to underline the importance of ensuring an active role for youth and women in the prevention, management and mediation of conflicts, as we continue to deepen our engagement with the African Union.
“My EU colleagues and I will also discuss relations with Iran, including the implications of the reimposition of US sanctions in November. While we have concerns in relation to Iran and actively pursue these, Iran is fulfilling its commitments under the nuclear agreement, which is very important for nuclear non-proliferation. We support the continued implementation of the agreement and the development of the trade links it was also intended to facilitate.
“We will then have an opportunity discuss recent events in Ukraine with the Ukrainian Foreign Minister. Ireland continues to firmly support the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
“Finally, we will address the situation in Venezuela. The EU is united in its concern at the deteriorating political, economic and humanitarian situation there.”