Dermot Ahern T.D., Minister for Foreign Affairs, responds to reports of Restrictions on Travel Abroad by Belarusian Children
Speaking last night, Minister Ahern said:
“There have been some indications in the past week that the Belarusian Authorities may introduce restrictions on travel abroad by children for rest and recuperation, including children suffering from the Chernobyl disaster.
Recalling Ireland’s role in providing assistance to Belarus, Minister Ahern said:
“This House is well aware that Ireland is among the States which have taken a lead in rendering humanitarian aid to Belarusian children in order to relieve the after- effects of the Chernobyl nuclear accident . We are all familiar with the exceptional work of the Chernobyl Children's Project. Indeed, having taken one of these children into my own home for the past nine years, I have some personal experience of the very real needs of these children and of the benefits which rest and recuperation brings to their lives.”
Minister Ahern detailed the Government’s actions, bilaterally, through Ireland’s Embassy in Moscow, and also through the EU. Minister Ahern raised the issue with his EU colleagues in Brussels on Monday:
“I shared with my colleagues my strong concern about this development and pointed out that, if implemented, the new regulations would add a new and worrying dimension to the isolation of Belarus from the rest of Europe. “
Concluding, Minister Ahern said, “this issue is of utmost concern to the Government and my Department will continue to monitor developments closely and to pursue the matter through all appropriate channels”.
The full text of Minister Ahern’s remarks are detailed on the main Press Releases section of the website. Top