Written Answers. - Foreign Travel.

Ivor Callely


105 Mr. Callely asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs the projected number of visits which he will undertake between now and the end of December 1996, in the context of Ireland's Presidency of the EU, to EU member destinations, other European destinations, North American destinations, African destinations and other destinations; the total cost of such travel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16652/96]

The Deputy will be aware that it is not possible to predict accurately the number of visits which I will be called upon to make in a Presidency context between now and the end of the Presidency. Due to changing international events, many meetings are called at short notice or may be replaced by meetings en marge of other visits. It is possible to give only an indicator of my Presidency schedule to the year end as it stands at the moment with the proviso that it is subject to change.

This week I am attending the UN General Assembly in New York. Over the course of three and a half days, I will attend 29 meetings and will chair several of these on behalf of the European Union. On Monday 23 September I had meetings with Japan, China, Poland, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Foundations for a Civil Society. On Tuesday 24 September I had meetings with Egypt, the Russian Federation, The Rio Group, Belarus, Iran and with former President Nyerere. Today I am meeting with Australia, the Central American States, Canada, India, the US, Turkey, Israel and Cyprus. Tomorrow I expect to meet with the Non-Aligned Movement, the Friends of Rapid Reaction, UN Secretary General, the Gulf Co-operation Council, Ukraine, Myanmar, Mercosur, the Bruce Morrison Group and the New York Irish Immigration Action Working Committee. In addition I have addressed the UN General Assembly on behalf of the European Union and have signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty on behalf of Ireland. I will also attend and address a reception at the Consulate General of Ireland and will launch a Fellowship Programme honouring the late Detective Garda Jerry McCabe.
As far as regular meetings of the General Affairs Council are concerned, I will be attending meetings in Luxembourg on 1-2 and 28-29 October and in Brussels on 25-26 November and 6 December 1996. I will chair a conclave on the Intergovernmental Conference which is provisionally scheduled to be held on 7 December.
The remainder of the Presidency related meetings abroad which are currently in my diary are as follows:

13/14 October

Southern African Development Community (SADC) — Windhoek, Namibia

12 November

Middle East and North Africa Summit (MENA), Cairo

2/3 December

OSCE Summit, Lisbon

4/5 December

Peace Implementation Council (Yugoslavia) Ministerial, London.

I am also scheduled to attend the December plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on a date to be fixed in the week beginning 9 December to participate in a debate on the Dublin European Council to be held in advance of that meeting. In addition, there will be a Troika visit to the Middle East on a date to be fixed. Since at this stage the entire schedule and scope of Presidency related commitments cannot be definitively predicted, it will be appreciated that it is not possible to provide the total cost of attendance.