There can be no hard border on island of Ireland: Von der Leyen

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DUBLIN, Dec.1 (Xinhua) -- European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said here on Thursday that there can be no hard border on the island of Ireland, and any solution must ensure that the single market continues to function.

"Ireland can always count on the EU to stand by the Good Friday Agreement, there can be no hard border on the island of Ireland," said von der Leyen when addressing the Irish parliament in Dublin on a visit to mark Ireland's 50 years of European Union (EU) membership.

"Joining the EU has unleashed Ireland's immense potential and has profoundly transformed this country," she said, noting that Ireland's GDP has gone from half to double the EU average since it joined the EU.

She also said that Europe needed Ireland's help to break free of reliance on Russian energy.

Ireland is "a wind energy superpower", and "can become a net exporter of energy" to help the EU replace Russian fuel, she added.

Prior to her speech at the Irish parliament, von der Leyen held a meeting with Irish prime minister Micheal Martin.

The two leaders discussed the current issues on the EU agenda, including the need to strengthen the EU's partnerships with key allies such as the United States and United Kingdom.

Ireland signed a treaty to join the EU (formerly known as the European Economic Community) in January 1972, before officially becoming a member of the EU in January 1973. Enditem

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