Varadkar: US’s exit from rights council a mistake

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has described the US decision to quit the UN Human Rights Council as a “mistake”.

“I think it’s deeply regrettable. I always believe in politics of engagement and that involves sitting around the table, even with people you disagree with,” he said.

“I think they have a point in pointing out some of the double standards that exist, the fact that people are extremely critical, for example, of Israel, and rightly so, but they turn a blind eye to the destruction of democracy in Venezuela, the absence of human rights in Cuba, and expropriation in Zimbabwe, because it’s being done by left-wing governments.

But the fact that the political left around the world engages in double standards doesn’t mean you walk off the pitch and I think it’s a mistake.

And Labour senator, Aodhán Ó Riordáin, has called on Oireachtas members to boycott the Fourth of July celebrations at the US embassy because of the US government’s immigration policy of separating children from their parents.

Mr Ó Riordáin said the idea of drinking champagne at a celebration, at this time, would be unthinkable.

He said no political party in Ireland had made immigration an election issue, and the country should be proud of that.

Irish politicians, he added, should make a stand.

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