15/12/2015

EU Foreign Ministers Discuss Counter Terrorism And Eastern Partnership

EU Foreign Ministers have met in Brussels to discuss counter terrorism, Libya, Iraq and the Eastern Partnership.

Charlie Flanagan, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, joined ministers from across the EU to discuss the eastern partnership, "exchanging views on the situation in individual Eastern Partner countries with particular focus on developments in Ukraine and Moldova".

Speaking after the meeting, Minister Flanagan said: "The situation in Moldova is now very worrying. We also discussed the most effective way for the EU to engage across the region, bearing in mind the diverse circumstances of our Partners. I am very much of the view that the Eastern Partnership continues to offer a valuable framework for cooperation and dialogue."

At their meeting, Foreign Ministers also discussed EU external action to counter terrorism, ongoing instability in Iraq and Libya, and met with the Foreign Minister of Turkey to exchange views on key foreign policy issues in the regions, including Syria and the threat from Da’esh.

Minister Flanagan stated: "Our meeting took place against the backdrop of horrific terrorist attacks in recent times - in particular those in Paris, Lebanon and Mali. These attacks highlight the global nature of the threat and that it is a multi-faceted problem which requires a comprehensive response.

"Ireland and our EU partners are committed to supporting diplomatic and political solutions to the crises in Iraq, Libya, and Syria which have generated and contributed to the terrorist threat. We will intensify efforts to combine measures which promote internal security while also working with partner countries and organisations in the Middle East, North Africa, as well as Turkey and the Western Balkans to support their capacity to tackle terrorism. All of our actions must be guided by our values and based on respect for the rule of law and human rights.

"It is extremely important at times like this that entire communities are not stigmatised because of the actions of a few. The vast majority of people in our minority communities are entirely peace-loving, and the appalling actions of a small number of extremists do not reflect the views of the Muslim community in this country, or in other states. Irish people, with our own very difficult and traumatic experience of terrorism, should understand this point well."

(MH/CD)

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