Tánaiste to attend EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D. and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Sameh Shoukry met today to discuss bilateral relations and regional issues.
Following the meeting the Tánaiste said:
“I was glad to have the opportunity to welcome Minister Shoukry to Ireland. We had productive discussions strengthening our bilateral relations, as well as our joint interests in EU-Egypt and EU-Arab cooperation, ahead of the first ever EU-League of Arab States Summit which will take place in Egypt on 24-25 February. We also spoke about EU-Africa cooperation, following Egypt’s assumption of the role of Chair of the African Union earlier this month.
Egypt is the largest country in the Arab world, and plays a pivotal role in a region where Ireland has a deep interest. I am committed to broadening and deepening Ireland’s relationship with Egypt, in the interests of the citizens of both countries, and I look forward to Ireland engaging further with Egypt across the full spectrum of issues, including trade, regional security and consular affairs.”
H.E. Minister Sameh Shoukry said:
“It is with pleasure that I am visiting Dublin today, while celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Egyptian Embassy in Ireland, and marking 100 years of Egyptian and Irish Leaders fighting together to assert their nations’ rights to self-determination.
I had valuable discussions with Deputy Prime Minister Coveney that covered both bilateral relations as well as international issues; we agreed on the need to further strengthening the Egyptian-Irish relations on the political, Trade, and economic levels. I look forward to upgrading our bilateral trade which has significantly increased in the past four years. We’d positive consultations on the establishment of a direct flight between Cairo and Dublin, discussing how the distinguished Egyptian community in Ireland and its Irish counterpart in Egypt can act as a bridge between our nations.
We had insightful consultations on the peace process in the Middle East and ways of working towards a comprehensive, just and lasting peace between Israel and Palestine, as well as Africa-EU cooperation following the Egyptian presidency of the African Union and our priorities that seek inter alia promoting economic and social development in Africa, developing the African industrialization and agriculture systems to achieve food security, and strengthening cooperation between the African Union and international, regional and local development and peace partners.
We also discussed the first Arab EU summit that will be hosted in Sharm el Sheikh, the city of peace, during the next week; I look forward to Ireland’s active participation in this significant summit that seeks reinforcing Arab EU relations and establishing a better common future.”
During his visit to Ireland, Minister Shoukry will meet with President Higgins and the Ceann Comhairle, Seán Ó Fearghaíl T.D. He will also give a briefing at the Institute of International and European Affairs to mark the 40th Anniversary of the Egyptian Embassy in Ireland in 2018 and he will plant a tree in the “Grove of Nations” at the Farmleigh Estate.