I am deeply concerned by the unfolding situation in Afghanistan.

The pace of developments there has taken many by surprise.

I fully endorse the call from UN Secretary General António Guterres for the Taliban to exercise the utmost restraint.  

Protecting lives, meeting humanitarian needs and respecting people’s human rights are paramount.

All parties, including the Taliban, are obliged to, and must, respect international humanitarian law.  

The international community must play its full part in providing humanitarian aid and facilitating refugees. Ireland will participate fully in these efforts.

The Departments of Foreign Affairs, Justice, and Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth are coordinating our actions.

The UN Security Council, of which Ireland is currently a member, is meeting this afternoon.  And a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council will take place tomorrow.  

We are also providing support to the small number of Irish citizens currently in Afghanistan.

I am in continuous contact with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, and will continue to monitor the situation closely over the coming days.

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