Nato a ‘four-letter word’ to some TDs Minister claims in row over neutrality

Ireland does not need to be involved in military alliances to ‘do our bit’ - Sinn Féin

Nato troops in Kabul. Minister for Defence Alan shatter said:  “We are engaged in Partnership for Peace [PfP] with Nato. Nato is like a four-letter word to some members. PfP is about a group of like-minded nations coming together to provide peacekeeping supports and humanitarian relief in regions where there are major difficulties.

Nato troops in Kabul. Minister for Defence Alan shatter said: “We are engaged in Partnership for Peace [PfP] with Nato. Nato is like a four-letter word to some members. PfP is about a group of like-minded nations coming together to provide peacekeeping supports and humanitarian relief in regions where there are major difficulties.

Thu, Dec 12, 2013, 01:17


Nato is like a four-letter word to some TDs, Minister for Defence Alan Shatter claimed as he accused Sinn Féin’s Pádraig Mac Lochlainn of being obsessed with our neutrality.

Speaking during Question Time, he said he was puzzled as to what military alliance Mr Mac Lochlainn thought Ireland was engaged in.

The Donegal North East TD had said “we do not need to be involved in military alliances to stake our claim and to do our bit for the world”.

He said the three pillars of neutrality included participation in UN-led peacekeeping missions, overseas development aid and conflict resolution. If Ireland could get itself back to a truly neutral position with those pillars “we can play a much stronger role in combating the threat of terrorism than being involved in military alliances with countries that have fuelled it”.

Rest of Europe
Mr Shatter said “we are a party to the European Common Security and Defence policy. That is of importance to this State as it is to the rest of Europe. ”

The Minister added: “We are engaged in Partnership for Peace [PfP] with Nato. Nato is like a four-letter word to some members. PfP is about a group of like-minded nations coming together to provide peacekeeping supports and humanitarian relief in regions where there are major difficulties.

“This does not taint or contaminate our military neutrality. It is about engagement, not isolation. It is about doing what we can to assist people across the world in conflict zones where there are difficulties instead of sticking our heads in the sand and moralising.”

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