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Tuesday 5 December 2023 Dublin: 4°C
CNBC Environment Minister Eamon Ryan
the liberator

Eamon Ryan quotes Daniel O'Connell as he reiterates support for Ukraine on Asian TV

Ryan spoke with CNBC Asia overnight, saying that Ireland was not neutral on the war in Ukraine.

Tadgh McNally reports from Hong Kong

ENVIRONMENT MINISTER EAMON Ryan has said that Ireland will continue to stand up for Ukraine, despite being a militarily neutral country.

Speaking on CNBC Asia today during his trip to Hong Kong for St Patrick’s week, Ryan said that while Ireland remained a militarily neutral country, it was not neutral on the war itself.

Quoting Daniel O’Connell, Ryan said that it was important for Ireland “stand up” for both international law and the people of Ukraine.

“For Ireland, a country where everyone knows that fought for its sovereignty, it’s important that we stand up for international law and for the right to Ukrainians to have theirs,” Ryan said.

“There was a famous Irish patriot, Daniel O’Connell – The Liberator – and he said one line and I think it’s appropriate here: nothing that’s morally wrong can be politically correct.

“That’s our position, that the Ukrainian people deserve their sovereignty and we stand by them and with them.”

While he admitted the war in Ukraine has been difficult on both energy markets and the economy, it has brought Europe together and that there has been a strong collective response.

It comes amid recent reports that Chinese President Xi Jinping could meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy next week, while also meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Zelenskyy had previously indicated that he wanted to speak with Xi, telling reporters that he hoped China would be able to support a “just peace” in Ukraine.

Windsor Framework

When asked about the new Windsor Framework, Ryan said that it was good news and that it was important for both the UK and European Union to retain close relationships.

He told CNBC: “The difficulties around that in the last four years has been a real problem for Ireland, for the UK and for the rest of Europe.

“I think, the ability to get that agreement on the [Northern Ireland] Protocol was really significant and important.”

Ryan also referenced the upcoming anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement and the role it played in bringing peace across the island.

“We’re celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, when we learned in Ireland how you could, by actually sitting down and working together, by following that vision that John Hume – the great Irish parliamentarian from the north of Ireland showed – that you sit down with those you have differences with, find where you have common interest, work from those upwards and you can bring peace.

“I think that’s a message which is obviously very important in Ireland but it’s one that maybe gives a good signal to the rest of the world as to where we need to go.”

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