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Minister for Defence Simon Coveney, T.D.,
Welcomes the release of 45 UN Peacekeepers
Serving with the UNDOF mission in Syria

11 September 2014.

Today, the Minister for Defence, Mr. Simon Coveney, T.D., welcomed the news of the safe release of the 45 Fijian United Nations peacekeepers, which were detained by the al-Qa’ida linked Nusra Front on 28 August last. Speaking earlier, the Minster said “
This is an important development in the context of the review by the UN of the UNDOF mission and in particular the question of Ireland’s continued participation with the mission”.

The Minister further stated, “This is an important UN mission contributing to the efforts of the international community in the broader region. I have been quite clear about Ireland’s desire to continue our commitment to the mission together with insisting that the UN fundamentally review the capacity of the mission to fulfill its mandate in the light of the ongoing civil war in Syria. While peacekeeping is not without risk, the safety of our troops is my priority and I have personally discussed the review with the Under Secretary General in the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations”.

The Minster also paid tribute to the Irish Defence Forces personnel with the UNDOF mission saying “the dedication and professionalism of our military personnel and the tremendous work done overseas by the Irish Defence Forces is a matter of great pride to the Irish Government”.


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