Simon Coveney, Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, met with Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, and Jake Sullivan, the US National Security Advisor, at Shannon Airport in Co Clare on May 24.
Coveney said he had a "very warm meeting" with NSA Sullivan which included discussions of Brexit, EU-US relations, the recent Ryanair incident in Belarus, and, "of course," Sullivan's family in Skibbereen.
Had a very warm meeting with US National Security Adviser @JakeSullivan46 tonight in @ShannonAirport - covered #Brexit, NI, MEPP, #Syria, #Belarus, EU/US relations, Cyber, bilateral relations & of course his family in Skibbereen.— Simon Coveney (@simoncoveney) May 24, 2021
Not long after, Coveney said in another tweet that it was "great to meet" Secretary Blinken. He said the duo discussed Brexit, EU-US relations, the Iran Nuclear Deal, and the Ryanair incident in Belarus.
Great to meet US Secretary of State @SecBlinken - at @ShannonAirport this evening on his way to the Middle East. Really constructive discussion on EU/US relations, MEPP, Iran Nuclear Deal & #Belarus.— Simon Coveney (@simoncoveney) May 24, 2021
Secretary Blinken said in a tweet that he engaged in a "great conversation" with Coveney.
Great conversation with Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defense @simoncoveney today. We discussed Ireland’s role in the UN Security Council, the outrageous diversion of a Ryanair flight in Belarus to arrest a journalist, and shared foreign policy priorities. pic.twitter.com/8QsRVjoJ4g— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) May 24, 2021
After the meeting at Shannon, the White House said in a statement on Monday: "Today, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan met with Foreign Minister Simon Coveney of Ireland to discuss our strong bilateral relations and cooperation on a number of shared global challenges.
"Mr. Sullivan and Foreign Minister Coveney condemned the forced diversion of a flight between two EU member states and the subsequent removal and arrest of journalist Raman Pratasevich in Minsk by the Lukashenka regime, and they agreed to remain in close touch on an appropriate response.
"They also discussed Ireland’s role in addressing challenges to peace and security as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.
"Mr. Sullivan and Foreign Minister Coveney reaffirmed their commitment to protecting the gains of the Good Friday Agreement for all communities in Northern Ireland."
The US State Department said in a separate statement: "Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met with Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defense Simon Coveney.
"Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Coveney reaffirmed the strong bilateral relationship between the United States and Ireland and Ireland’s role as an enduring Transatlantic partner.
"The Secretary and Foreign Minister condemned the outrageous diversion of Ryanair Flight 4978 in Belarus, and they discussed the status of JCPOA negotiations, Ireland’s role on the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member, and other shared foreign policy priorities."
Blinken was en route to the Middle East at the bidding of President Biden, who said in a statement on May 24: "During his trip, Secretary Blinken will meet with Israeli leaders about our ironclad commitment to Israel’s security.
"He will continue our Administration’s efforts to rebuild ties to, and support for, the Palestinian people and leaders, after years of neglect. And he will engage other key partners in the region, including on the coordinated international effort to ensure immediate assistance reaches Gaza in a way that benefits the people there and not Hamas, and on reducing the risk of further conflict in the coming months."
While Biden reiterated the US commitment to Israel, Coveney said during a meeting of the UN Security Council on May 16: "We call today on all parties to refrain from violent and provocative acts, including rockets and incendiary devices launched from Gaza into Israel by a terrorist organisation, indiscriminately targeting civilian populations and infrastructure.
"However, Israel must abide by the provisions of International Humanitarian Law, particularly in relation to the Protection of Civilians, including when exercising the right to self-defence.
"Ireland calls on Israel to ensure that its security forces act in full respect for the principles of proportionality, distinction, and precaution in the conduct of military operations. Accountability must be ensured for the actions of the Israeli security forces."