Sunday 17 November 2019

Irish Government urges return to peace talks in wake of US rocket attack on Syria

Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan Photo: Gerry Mooney
Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan Photo: Gerry Mooney
John Downing

John Downing

Ireland has called for renewed peace talks on Syria in the wake of the US missile strikes which have hugely increased tensions in the Middle East and further strained relations between America and Russia.

Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan carefully avoided either endorsing or condemning the first direct US intervention in the six-year-old Syrian war.

The surprise US rocket attacks, which killed some seven people on Friday, were on a Syrian government base which was suspected of being used in chemical weapon attacks last Tuesday which killed 70 people and caused horrific injuries.

The attacks represented a major change in US policy and a total reversal for President Donald Trump who had long warned that America should stay out of the bitter conflict.

The US attacks were endorsed by the British government and other traditional American allies.

But Foreign Affairs Minister, Charlie Flanagan, said it remains clear that there can be no military solution for Syria.

“The only hope for a resolution to this conflict which has seen the tens of thousands of people killed and maimed, and the millions of people displaced, is negotiation involving all the main international actors and the Syrians. I urge everyone involved to get back around the table at talks in Geneva,” Mr Flanagan said.

The Foreign Affairs Minister is at talks in Belfast aimed at restoring the power-sharing government in the North. 

He insisted that the Syrian conflict can only be resolved by international political negotiation.

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