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Germany says EU should press ahead with treaty
BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany called Ireland's rejection of the EU reform treaty in a referendum a "hard blow" on Friday but urged other member states to continue with ratification and said the treaty should still come into force.
"Naturally we are disappointed, it is a hard blow," German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in a statement. "Nevertheless I am convinced that we need this treaty.
"Therefore we are sticking with our goal for it to come into force. The ratification process must continue."
Steinmeier said the treaty would make Europe more democratic, more transparent and effective.
"We will now have to consider, together with our EU partners and Irish friends, how we deal with the situation."
The Irish rejection of the EU's Lisbon treaty has put plans to overhaul the bloc's institutions in peril and humiliated Ireland's political leaders.
Ireland was the only country in the 27-nation bloc to hold a referendum on the treaty, which foresees a long-term president of the European Council of EU leaders, a stronger foreign policy chief and a mutual defense pact.
As EU president in early 2007, Germany played a key role in getting the new treaty off the ground after a previous charter was rejected by French and Dutch voters in 2005.
(Writing by Noah Barkin; Editing by Catherine Evans)
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