Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney T.D. will attend the Foreign Affairs Council along with his European counterparts in Brussels on 12 July.
Foreign Ministers will discuss a range of current foreign policy issues, including the situations in Ethiopia and Lebanon, and will exchange views with the Foreign Ministers of Israel and Egypt.
Speaking ahead of the discussion on Lebanon and following a visit to the country from 4 to 7 July, Minister Coveney said:
“I met last week with members of the Irish Defence Forces in the UNIFIL peacekeeping mission in Lebanon, as well as UN officials, Lebanese political leaders and civil society actors and saw first-hand the enormous scale of the challenge facing the country.
I was glad to announce an additional €1 million in funding for humanitarian assistance for the poorest and most vulnerable Lebanese households.
Lebanon needs to have a strong, effective government in place to address the many challenges it faces and the EU needs to do everything its power to assist with this. I look forward to discussing with my EU colleagues how we can best support this process.”
The Minister commented on Ethiopia:
“Following eight months of conflict in Tigray, we continue to witness the devastating impact of the crisis on civilians. Events of recent weeks demonstrate the extreme fluidity and fragility of the situation.
A credible ceasefire is needed. All parties need to stop atrocities, respect international humanitarian law and enable immediate and unhindered access.
Ireland continues to push for a strong and constructive EU response to the crisis, to complement our efforts at the UN Security Council.”
Foreign Ministers will hold an informal exchange with the recently appointed Foreign Minister of Israel, Yair Lapid. Minister Coveney said:
“Israel is an important strategic partner for the EU, and there are many areas where we can develop stronger relations, such as science and research, trade, and cooperation on global and regional issues.
“Israel has a new Government and I welcome this early opportunity to engage with Foreign Minister Lapid. I intend to express to Minister Lapid Ireland’s deep concerns about the impact of Israeli government policies on the ground and the urgent need to halt settlement expansion, demolitions and forced evictions. The situation in East Jerusalem is of particular concern at present. I will also raise Gaza and the urgent need to facilitate reconstruction.”
11 July 2021