Written Answers. - Official Engagements.

Thursday, 29 May 2003

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 567 No. 7

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  58.  Mr. Howlin  Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin   asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs  Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen   if he will make a statement on the outcome of his meeting on 21 May 2003 with US Special Ambassador, Richard Haass. [14748/03]

Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Cowen): Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  My most recent meeting with Ambassador Richard Haass, President Bush's ambassador-at-large with overall responsibility for Ireland, took place in Dublin on 21 May, following his meetings in London and Belfast.

During the course of our discussion I updated Ambassador Haass on recent developments in Northern Ireland, including the plans of the two Governments to take forward their joint declar[1696]ation published on 1 May. I also briefed the ambassador on the outcome of the meeting of the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference in London on the previous day. Ambassador Haass and I exchanged views on a number of issues relating to the peace process, including the question of elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly and how political momentum could be restored. I also took the opportunity to convey our appreciation to President Bush and the US Administration for its ongoing support for this important work and to thank Ambassador Haass for his exceptional personal commitment to the peace process in Northern Ireland.

The ambassador and I also discussed a number of current international issues of mutual interest, including Iraq, the Middle East, North Korea and the transatlantic relationship.


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