Tánaiste calls for non-sectarian approach to Iraq crisis23/6/14
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, TD, discussed the deteriorating security situation in Iraq with EU Foreign Ministers in Luxembourg.
Speaking after the Foreign Affairs Council meeting today, the Tánaiste said:
"The situation in Iraq is clearly very worrying and I share the concern of our EU partners. The Council strongly condemned the activities by terrorist groups and attacks on civilian targets in particular.
"We have sent a very strong message to the Iraqi government that the emphasis going forward must be on an inclusive political approach which allows for a genuine role for the large Sunni minority.
"We must ensure that sectarian divisions do not present opportunities for extremism."
Ministers also discussed the situation in Ukraine with recently-appointed Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Pavlo Klimkin.
The Tánaiste said: "While there have been several positive developments in recent weeks - the Presidential elections, the peace plan presented by President Poroshenko - the situation in Eastern Ukraine remains volatile and we must continue to support efforts towards de-escalation and stability in Ukraine.
"Ireland looks forward to the signature of the Association Agreement with Ukraine later this week which will drive forward political and economic reform efforts and serve as an important symbol of the EU's commitment and support.
"Today we re-affirmed support for the work of the OSCE's Special Monitoring Mission and agreed to establish a CSDP mission to assist Ukraine in the field of civilian security sector reform, including police and the rule of law."
On Libya, the Tánaiste commented:
"We had a very useful exchange on Libya, where all agreed that the focus needs to be on supporting the political process to avoid seeing the country descending into further instability.
"I hope that the elections next week will represent a turning point and provide an opportunity for a real national dialogue to begin about Libya's future."
23 June 2014