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Dublin: 4 °C Sunday 19 January, 2020

Audio: NATO wants Ireland to get more involved with military alliance

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen addressed an audience in Dublin last night.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaking at the Institute of International and European Affairs in Dublin last night
Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaking at the Institute of International and European Affairs in Dublin last night
Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

THE SECRETARY GENERAL of NATO has said that Ireland would be “warmly welcomed” if it got involved in more of the military alliance’s projects in the future.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen was speaking at the Institute for International and European Affairs in Dublin last night when he said that although Ireland is not a member of the 28-nation alliance it is a “very important partner”.

In his speech, he said of Ireland: “It shares NATO’s values.  And it shares NATO’s commitment to strengthening the role of the United Nations as the guarantor of international security, and the rule of law.”

NATO, which stands for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, is a mutual defence organisation – where effectively an attack on one is an attack on all – that was founded in the aftermath of World War II and is the largest military alliance in the world.

Rasmussen said that Ireland and NATO shared the “same faith in freedom.  Dedication to democracy.  And loyalty to the rule of law.”

“We share the same determination to build a better world – one where everyone is safer and more secure,” he said on what is the first visit to Ireland by the head of NATO.

Listen to the speech in full:

He said specifically that Ireland should increase cooperation on military education, training and exercises and pointed out that the Defence Forces Ordnance School in Kildare had provided “invaluable training for NATO forces”.

“This has undoubtedly saved many lives,” he said. “Also, the school’s instructors have helped with tuition and training as part of NATO’s own Programme of Work in Defence against Terrorism.”

He said that another “outstanding facility” was the the United Nations Training School Ireland.

“Many NATO nations have benefited from the comprehensive training provided there.  And this has helped to prepare them for peace support operations,” he told the audience.

He later added: “I would like to encourage Ireland to consider getting involved in more of these projects, including NATO’s.  Because that would allow you to enhance your own capabilities – and it would be warmly welcomed by the Alliance.”

Rasmussen said he hoped that closer cooperation for peace would continue in the years ahead and said that Ireland and NATO both understood that security was best delivered though cooperation and both understood the importance of strengthening the UN.

“This is why Ireland is such an important partner for NATO,” he explained.

“Why we have worked so closely together for peace in the past.  And why I look forward to us working even more closely together for peace in the future.”

Read: New NATO commander takes the helm in Afghanistan

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Hugh O'Connell

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