7. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the fact that citizens of Venezuela living here are having difficulty in renewing their passports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 10843/18 asked on 08 Mar 2018)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The issuing of passports is solely a matter for the issuing country and it would not be appropriate for me to comment.

I am, however, glad of this opportunity to reiterate my deep concern at the situation in Venezuela, including the growing humanitarian crisis. The matter was discussed at the meeting of EU Foreign Ministers which I attended in Brussels last week.

It was agreed at that meeting that the EU would continue to closely monitor the situation in Venezuela and would keep channels of communication open, both with the government and the opposition.

Ireland, alongside our EU partners, is committed to finding ways to achieve a peaceful negotiated solution to the crisis currently affecting the country through credible and meaningful dialogue, in order to bring about political stability and to address the pressing needs of the Venezuelan people.