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EU Meetings

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 27 January 2022

Thursday, 27 January 2022

Questions (51)

Cormac Devlin

Question:

51. Deputy Cormac Devlin asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will report on his attendance at the meeting of the European Union Foreign Affairs Council on 24 January 2022; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3766/22]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I attended the meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council, which took place in Brussels, on Monday 24 January.

The Council discussed the current security situation in Eastern Europe at length. We held an exchange with US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, by video conference during which we reiterated our shared commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. In our discussions, EU Foreign Ministers agreed that dialogue in line with the key principles that underpin European security, as enshrined in the UN Charter and the founding documents of the OSCE, is the best way to safeguard peace and stability. We also reiterated however that any further military aggression by Russia against Ukraine will have massive consequences and severe costs. We adopted Council Conclusions which reflected these positions. I emphasised the need to focus on diplomacy and dialogue, and I also updated my EU colleagues on Russian plans to conduct live fire naval exercises off the south west coast of Ireland.

We also assessed how the EU might best respond to recent developments in Syria and Libya. Ireland is currently co-penholder for Syria humanitarian issues on the UN Security Council, and I highlighted the humanitarian imperative to ensure access to aid for all those in need.

The Council also exchanged views on the situations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Indo-Pacific, Sudan and Mali. We agreed on our intention to progress restrictive measures against individuals responsible for destabilisation in Mali, in support of similar targeted actions already undertaken by ECOWAS, while also underlining the EU’s commitment to supporting the Malian people.

Council Conclusions on the EU’s priorities in UN human rights fora in 2022 and on peace operations and crisis management operations for 2022-2024 were also agreed.

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