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Germany: Ireland will approve EU treaty

German Finance Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (L) meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (2nd R) in Berlin on February 22, 2007. (UPI Photo/Omar Rashidi/Palestinian President's Office)
German Finance Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (L) meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (2nd R) in Berlin on February 22, 2007. (UPI Photo/Omar Rashidi/Palestinian President's Office) | License Photo

BERLIN, July 22 (UPI) -- German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier says he's optimistic Ireland will find "a way forward" after a vote to ratify the Treaty of Lisbon.

Irish voters defeated a June 12 referendum to approve the package of EU governance changes. The only EU country to put the treaty to a public referendum, analysts said it was defeated in part because Ireland feared giving the European Union more power over its foreign policy and domestic economy.

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All 27 EU countries need to approve the treaty before it can take effect.

Steinmeier said in an opinion piece for German broadcaster Deutsche Welle he's confident the European Council and Irish leaders can work out their differences.

"Clearly, the current situation is anything but straightforward -- both for Ireland and for the other EU countries," he said. "The Irish have promised to come up with proposals for a way forward this year. They have also asked for time to analyze in peace the reasons for the 'no' vote. I am in favor of giving them this time.

"And I am optimistic that ultimately it will be possible to find a solution that is acceptable -- even to the Irish."

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