THE head of NATO has said he would welcome any application by Ireland to join his military organisation.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen (pictured) become the first NATO secretary general to officially visit this country when he attended the two-day meeting of EU defence ministers at Dublin Castle.
He noted that Ireland already contributed to NATO-led operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo, both of which have UN mandates.
But he said joining NATO was a decision for Ireland, and his organisation would not interfere in it.
"We have a Partnership for Peace (PfP) partnership and we highly value that. We look forward to further developing that but it is for Ireland to decide its relationship with NATO or any other organisation", Mr Rasmussen added.