Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Trade and Diaspora, Seán Crowe TD, has welcomed the decision of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to open eight new embassies and consulates.
They include new embassies in Bangkok, Jakarta, Nairobi, Zagreb, the re-opening the Vatican embassy, and new consulates in Austin, Texas, in the US, Hong Kong and São Paulo. It also includes upgrading the consulate in Freetown, to an embassy.
Deputy Crowe said:
“I welcome the decision of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to open these new embassies and consulates, which will be based in South America, North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
“I have continually called on the Government to work on creating new and influential political and trading relationships with emerging and growing markets in South America, Africa and Asia, as well as expanding our relationship with existing partners in North America and Europe.
“I hope that these embassies and consulates in developing countries not only focus on mutually beneficial trading partnerships, but also on aid and development in these countries and the wider regions in which they are located.
“However I am disappointed that the Government has refused to re-open the embassy in Tehran, which was closed in November 2011, supposedly for financial reasons.
“This omission leaves Ireland with no representation in Iran, which not only damages our relationship with this influential country in the Middle East and possible trading partner, but also with neighbouring countries in the region.
“I hope to discuss the opening of these new embassies and consulates, and what specific plans the Government has for them with the Tánaiste in the Foreign Affairs Committee tomorrow.”