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Wednesday 20 September 2017

Ireland reiterates neutrality as EU leaders to step up military plans

Enda Kenny has reiterated Ireland's neutrality
Enda Kenny has reiterated Ireland's neutrality

Fionnan Sheahan, Group Political Editor, Brussels

Ireland has officially re-iterated its opt out from any form of EU military engagement as European leaders moved towards the possibility of enhancing the union's ability to act.

Ahead of the last EU summit of the year, NATO said that Europe needs a "stronger defence" and to enhance its military capability to intervene in situations like the crisis in Syria.

"If European nations invest more in military capabilities, they could make stronger contributions to NATO," its secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.

Security and defence and the economic and monetary union are the main topics on the agenda for the meeting of EU heads of state and government meeting.

The Government got references to the UN and the Lisbon Treaty inserted in the wording of the conclusions to reiterate the neutral position of countries like Ireland, the Irish Independent understands.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said Ireland's position was clear and would not change.

"The Lisbon Treaty sets out Europe's position on this and that supercedes all statements."

Irish Independent

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