Nicola Sturgeon has vowed to strengthen the “deep bonds” between Scotland and Ireland, as a review was set up to develop the relationship.
The First Minister made the comments as she met deputy Irish PM Simon Coveney in Edinburgh on Wednesday.
The joint bilateral review will look at how the nations can work together over the next five years in areas including business and the economy, as well as in developing academic and research links.
The hands of friendship. First Minister @NicolaSturgeon met TÃ¡naiste @simoncoveney in Edinburgh where they committed to strengthening the deep bonds between Scotland and Ireland. 👉 https://t.co/LVVFsnCVUA pic.twitter.com/wfTB8WRQIY— First Minister (@ScotGovFM) November 13, 2019
It will also consider what collaborative work can be carried out to help the rural, coastal and island communities of both Scotland and Ireland.
Following the meeting, Ms Sturgeon said: “Ireland and Scotland already enjoy close political, economic, community and cultural ties, but we are committed to strengthening those deep bonds.
“The Scottish-Irish health forum is an example of a collaboration which shares mutual challenges and solutions, and there is scope to collaborate across key policy areas that have the potential for greater rewards that will help shaping our shared future.
“The review will aid that process by consolidating existing ties in a new international environment and unlocking the relationship’s further potential.”
Mr Coveney said he hopes the countries can take their relationship to a “new level” in the coming months.
He said: “Ireland and Scotland have ancient links. At the same time, ours is a vibrant, modern, forward-looking relationship, grounded in shared values and common interests.
“Over the coming months we are doing something new together, and through the review I hope we can take our relationship to a new level, for the mutual benefit of the people of Ireland and Scotland.”