Gilmore says Europe must stand by Cyprus
TANAISTE Eamon Gilmore says Europe must stand by Cyprus as it decides whether to accept a EU bailout by Tuesday or face the collapse of its banking system.
The European Central Bank said it will cut off emergency funding for beleaguered Cypriot banks, which could push Cyprus out of the euro, without the acceptance of €10bn bailout.
Speaking at a EU foreign ministers conference in Dublin Castle this afternoon, Mr Gilmore said: "I believe it is important that the rest of Europe stands in solidarity with Cyprus and with the people of Cyprus.
"The whole approach that we have taken to the financial and banking crisis in Europe has been one of countries staying together, working together and helping each other out of the difficulties that we're in," he added.
"I think Irish people have a lot of sympathy for the situation in Cyprus and certainly I do. The people in Cyprus are facing a really difficult set of circumstances right now."
Mr Gilmore said the Irish Government had also had to "make some very difficult decisions and make them very quickly".
"The first mont that the new Government was in office we had to make a lot of decisions in a very quick period of time. I think that the Government in Cyprus and the parliament in Cyprus have decisions to make."
The meeting of foreign ministers is discussing whether to lift the arms embargo to Syria. France and Britain want to arm the Syrian rebels, but Mr Gilmore says the Irish Government is not in favour of further militarisation.