Belfast Telegraph

Charlie Flanagan to champion Ireland's commitment to EU during visit to US

Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan is expected to champion Ireland's commitment to the EU during a visit to the United States.

He is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly but will also meet senior US officials as well as Irish community and business leaders for discussions on immigration reform, developments in Northern Ireland and the implications of Brexit.

In a keynote address at Fordham University's School of Law, the Minister is expected to say Ireland is "wholeheartedly committed to our membership of the European Union and of the eurozone".

He will say: "Ireland will continue to serve as a gateway to the EU for foreign investors.

"I know that American companies are particularly attracted by what Ireland can offer them: an English-speaking base, ease of doing business, a competitive offering, a track record in innovation, and most of all, a highly-educated talented workforce which is the cornerstone of industry."

He will also claim the Irish economy is better positioned to tackle the trade challenges resulting from Brexit than at any other time in the past.

The week-long visit kicks off with a breakfast meeting with Enterprise Ireland and a number of its client companies active in the US market.

Mr Flanagan will also address the United Nations General Assembly and meet UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon as well as undertake a series of bilateral meetings with foreign ministers from around the world.

Speaking ahead of his departure for the UN, Mr Flanagan said: "Ireland's commitment to the principles and values enshrined in the United Nations Charter remains at the very heart of our foreign policy and the annual UN General Assembly provides a valuable opportunity to set out Ireland's priorities and to engage with international partners.

"Ireland is particularly active in both UN peacekeeping and in tackling hunger and poverty. In my address to the UN General Assembly, I will highlight the fact that conflict and deprivation are key drivers of the current migration crisis.

"The community of nations needs to work together to address the root causes of migration and the UN has a critical role to play in this regard. Today's migration crisis resonates with Ireland's own sad history of emigration and I will be emphasising the need for the international community to tackle the root causes of the migration crisis, rather than focus on addressing the symptoms of the problem.

"Ireland played a key role in facilitating the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and the holistic multilateral approach offers a model that can be adopted in addressing the challenges posed by migration."


From Belfast Telegraph