Varadkar: It’s not the Govt’s intention to join military alliance – – Our News, Your Views

Varadkar: It’s not the Govt’s intention to join military alliance

The Taoiseach identified cybersecurity, international terrorism and infrastructure threats as three areas where Ireland could become more involved in PESCO, the European Union’s defence cooperation organisation, reports RTE.

Speaking at the International Security Consultative Forum, Leo Varadkar said that Ireland would join such projects on a case-by-case basis and in line with the country’s policy of military neutrality.

Asked about the proposal for a referendum ruling out Ireland’s chances of joining NATO, he replied: “I have never heard of the idea of having a referendum on not joining an organisation,” reports RTE.

The Taoiseach added that “it’s not the intention” of this Government, or any of the three individual parties that make up the Government, on joining a military alliance – including NATO, reports RTE.

The forum focused on the experiences of NATO’s founding members, Norway and Switzerland, with regard to the principle of military neutrality.

Joachim Adler of the Swiss Federal Department of Defence said that not being a NATO member is good for his country, especially when it comes to dialogue with the Serbs.

However, he said it depends entirely on the context of any involvement in Switzerland.

People Before Profit deputy Richard Boyd accused the Barrett government of engaging in a “relentless campaign” to get Ireland to join NATO.

Ireland participates in the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) provided that it does not conflict with our traditional policy of military neutrality.

CSDP aims to build capacity to undertake peacekeeping and conflict prevention missions in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter and to strengthen international security.

Previously, Mr Varadkar had spoken out against a “small minority” who had waved the Irish flag in protest on social media and in the streets, reports RTE.

The Taoiseach said the flag did not represent a group but “all of us” – human values, aspirations, homes and dreams.

Mr Varadkar said that a small, violent and undemocratic group had tried to adopt it as their banner in the past but had failed to defile it, reports RTE.

He said that the current minority would also collapse.

The demonstration took place in front of Dublin Castle where the forum was being held.

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