Written answers

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Official Engagements

8:00 pm

Photo of Seán KennySeán Kenny (Dublin North East, Labour)
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Question 62: To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs the counterparts that he expects to invite here over the next few months. [8487/11]

Photo of Eamon GilmoreEamon Gilmore (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
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As Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade I intend to meet regularly with my foreign counterparts at EU and international level, both abroad and here in Dublin. I have already met my EU counterparts at the Gymnich informal meeting of Foreign Ministers in Budapest on 11-12 March, and again at last week's meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council. I will continue to engage with my counterparts at Council meetings in the coming months, and will again meet them in an informal setting in Poland on 2-3 September. I would hope to have a number of bilateral meetings en marge of the 25-6 May OECD meeting in Paris, including with the French Foreign Minister, Alain Juppé.

I am in regular contact with various members of the British Government, including Deputy Prime Minister Clegg and Foreign Secretary Hague, both of whom I expect to meet for bilateral meetings next month, and with Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Owen Paterson with whom I met yesterday in Dublin. I am also in contact with Secretary of State Clinton who I met last month in Washington. I will be Chair-in-Office of the OSCE in 2012. Ireland is currently in the OSCE Troika with Lithuania, the current Chair-in-Office, and Kazakhstan, last year's Chair. In terms of preparation, I expect to address the OSCE's Permanent Council in Vienna later this year to provide an outline of our Chairmanship priorities. A Ministerial Troika meeting with the Kazakh and Lithuanian Foreign Ministers is also planned for the coming months.

In addition, I intend to avail of the opportunity of the Ministerial Week of the UN General Assembly in New York in September to schedule and conduct a round of bilateral meetings with the Foreign Ministers of a number of key partner countries for Ireland. I will, of course, continue to take every opportunity during meetings with my counterparts to actively pursue the Government's key objective of restoring economic growth through trade promotion, particularly in relation to priority and emerging markets.

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