Gilmore in Luxembourg to discuss crisis in Iraq
Tánaiste says Ireland has pledged €200,000 in emergency aid for those displaced by violence
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore is in Luxembourg today for a meeting of EU foreign ministers to discuss the ongoing crisis in Iraq and developments in Ukraine.
There has been a collapse of Iraqi government authority in the northwest part of the country after spectacular military victories by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) there over the last two weeks.
Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki is fighting for his political life as the country heads towards a sectarian showdown.
Speaking ahead of the meeting in Luxembourg, Mr Gilmore said he was very concerned at the deteriorating situation.
“The surge in violence represents a serious threat to the security, not only of the Iraqi people, but of the whole region. It is critical that all Iraqi political leaders come together in a more constructive way to overcome this crisis, to reject sectarianism and promote national unity for all Iraqis. The Council discussion will give an opportunity to reaffirm this key message,” he said.
The UN Special Representative on Iraq, Nikolay Mladenov, will also brief the meeting on the plight of Iraqi civilians, half a million of whom have been forced to leave their homes as a result of the violence.
Mr Gilmore said Ireland had pledged €200,000 in emergency aid to provide tents and hygiene kits to those most in need and “stood ready to provide further assistance.”
Ministers will also hold discussions on Ukraine and Libya.
Mr Gilmore welcomed the peace plan proposed by Ukraine’s new president Petro Poroshenko last Friday and said he hoped the implementation of the plan would lead to a peaceful settlement there.
“I also welcome the opportunity to have a ministerial discussion about Ukraine, the first since the election of President Poroshenko on 25 May. I look forward to hearing from the newly-appointed Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, who will join us for part of these discussions”, he said.