Gilmore draws ’hope’ from Putin statement on Security Council

Response to Syria ’has to be through the UN’, Tánaiste says

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore said a response to the crisis in Syria ’has to be through the UN’. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore said a response to the crisis in Syria ’has to be through the UN’. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

 

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore said he was taking “some hope” from statements by Russian president Vladimir Putin on Syria in which he appeared “more amenable to an agreed Security Council position”.

Mr Gilmore said a response to the crisis in Syria “has to be through the UN” and was “an issue the Security Council has to respond to”.

Mr Gilmore acknowledged that there was a great “frustration” among some states, including the US, at the “failure of the Security Council of the United Nations to reach an agreement at what is to be done in Syria”.

The response to Syria needed to be taken one step at a time by firstly waiting for the report of the UN chemical inspectors and secondly “the security council needs to agree a position on what is to be done,” he said.

“At the end of the day the solution to Syria... is a political solution” he added. Mr Gilmore said the Geneva 2 process in which the parties are brought together and “a settlement hammered out” needed to be proceeded with.

“The big issue is here there is a savage conflict needs to be brought to an end. The use of chemical weapons has got to be responded to,” Mr Gilmore said.

In the meantime there need to be concentration on the humanitarian effort, he said.

“This is an appalling human crisis in Syria,” Mr Gilmore said. “Anyone who saw the condition of children injured, burned and killed by the use of chemical gas and chemical weapons cannot but have been moved and there is a necessity for a response to that,” he told RTÉ Radio.

Ireland was “very much to the fore” of the humanitarian effort, having announced €1 million in aid this week and was “now one of the biggest contributors on a per capita basis”, he said.