The Philippines and Ireland successfully concluded their first-ever bilateral consultations on November 27 in Dublin, Ireland, upon the invitation of the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The meeting was co-chaired by Europ

ean Affairs Assistant Secretary Elizabeth P. Buensuceso for the Philippine side and Mr. David Donoghue, Political Director, and Ms. Cliona Manahan, Regional Director, Asia Pacific Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland, for the Irish side.

Both sides agreed that making the bilateral connection between the Philippines and Ireland is critical at this time as it would serve as the key to sustain and further enhance their two countries’ bilateral linkages in view of the recent closure of the Philippine Embassy in Dublin in the middle of this year. They focused their discussions on current and future directions of their relationship that would strengthen Philippine-Irish cooperation, particularly in the areas of trade and investment, agriculture, tourism, renewable energy, education, and closer people-to-people links.

The two sides also exchanged views on regional and international developments in the ASEAN region, the West Philippine Sea, updates on the recent 9th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit, and the current challenges faced by the Eurozone, among others.

Official diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Ireland were established in 1984 and have always been characterized by the strong people-to-people links. The Columban Irish missionaries have played an important role in the development and enhancement of friendly ties between the Philippines and Ireland. Meanwhile, Filipinos in Ireland number around 12,000. The Philippine Embassy in London headed by Ambassador Enrique Manalo now has jurisdiction over Ireland. END