Thursday, 31 January 2019

Ceisteanna (57)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

57. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if consideration is being given to appointing an Irish consul in Guinea; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4911/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

The Embassy of Ireland in Sierra Leone is accredited on a non-residential basis to Guinea. The Embassy is at the forefront of efforts to promote our political and economic interests, our values, and in providing important services to the Irish people and business community in West Africa.

With the launch last year of ‘Global Ireland 2025’, the Government is committed to significantly expanding our diplomatic, commercial and cultural networks globally.This includes efforts to bolster our existing political and economic connections in West Africa and to seek out new opportunities and links in the region. As part of this, the Embassy of Ireland in Liberia was established in June 2018 (which replaced the Development Office in the country) and there is a commitment to deliver a new flagship Embassy building in Nigeria. There is also a commitment to open new Embassies in West Africa, in particular to serve our interests in the Sahel and Francophonie. First steps to achieving these aims have already been taken, with Ireland recently gaining observer member status at the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie.

In considering expanding our diplomatic representation overseas, a range of factors are taken into account, including our national political, economic and trade priorities, as well as the availability of resources. The Government is conscious of the factors that might warrant the opening of a resident diplomatic mission in Guinea, as in a number of other countries. This will be taken fully into account in ongoing work on the ‘Global Ireland’ initiative.