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Adams challenges Kenny on Irish neutrality

22 January, 2014 - by Gerry Adams TD


Sinn Fein Leader Gerry Adams TD has said EU leaders are seeking to further militarise the European Union with the aim of eventually creating an EU army, allied to NATO.

Speaking in the Dáil today, he said the function of such an army appears to be protecting the interests of former European colonial powers in their former colonies.

Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach:

“Did you at any stage stand up for the ideal of Irish neutrality, a concept supported and valued by the vast majority of citizens in this State? A concept once supported by the Labour Party?

“Unless seriously challenged, a continuation of the plans discussed at the EU summit we will see increased spending on weapons by EU states, including this state.

“At the time of one the biggest economic recessions that Europe has ever witnessed, the main idea contained in these Council Conclusions is to increase spending on weapons and military technology. Where is the sense in such a policy?

“Where is the reflection in the conclusions of the EU Council meeting of the urgent need for increased spending in healthcare, social protection or economic stimulus?

“Taoiseach, to the surprise of many, the EU won the noble peace price in 2012. Are you comfortable with a situation where in 2014 the main concern of EU Leaders seems to be that member states are not spending enough public money on weapons to be used in some of the poorest countries on the planet?

"As we can see in today’s news headlines Syria is proving to be probably the worst humanitarian disaster the UN has yet faced.

"Horrific images have emerged from Syria of the suffering of Syrian citizens including children.

"There is no military solution to conflicts such as that in Syria. What is required is an international focus to find a peaceful, political solution. The European Union has a role to play in this.”

The Sinn Féin Leader also raised issues in the Middle East and urged EU action saying the situation in Syria was proving to be probably the worst humanitarian disaster the UN has yet faced.

“Horrific images have emerged from Syria of the suffering of Syrian citizens including children.

“There is no military solution to conflicts such as that in Syria. What is required is an international focus to find a peaceful, political solution. The European Union has a role to play in this.”

On the issue of the construction of 1,400 illegal housing units by Israel on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank, Mr Adams said that the EU carries out billions of euro worth of trade with the state of Israel every year and there was a clear onus on the EU to make a stand against Israeli aggression and its flouting of international law.

“What must be remembered in relation to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is that it is not equal. There is a clear power imbalance.

“Israel is a first world state with a nuclear arsenal while the Palestinians are stateless and their lands are occupied. Without international support and solidarity they will continue to be oppressed and victimized”, he said.

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