Merkel on first official visit to Ireland
(dpa) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel was expected in the Irish capital Dublin later Monday for talks with Prime Minister Bertie Ahern expected to focus on the EU Reform Treaty ahead of an Irish referendum on the treaty aimed at streamlining EU decision- making.
"Discussions between the taoiseach (prime minister) and the chancellor will focus on the ratification of the Reform Treaty, developments in the World Trade Organization and the European Commission's proposals on climate change and energy," a statement from Ahern's office said.
Ireland is the only EU member to vote in a referendum to ratify the treaty. The popular vote is scheduled for June 12.
This is the first visit by a German chancellor to Ireland since former chancellor Gerhard Schroeder visited the country during the Irish presidency of the European Union in 2004, the statement said.
Ahern met with Merkel on May 31, 2007, in Berlin.