President Mary McAleese has told the European Parliament that a strong European Union was vital if the world was to combat the threat of global poverty, terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.

The President also outlined the Government's priorities in advance of Ireland assuming the Presidency of the EU in January.

President Mary McAleese addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg as part of a three-day visit to the main institutions of the EU.

After the meeting Mrs McAleese, accompanied by her husband, Dr Martin McAleese, and Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Dick Roche, was to hold a brief meeting with Irish MEPs.

In many of her addresses, she has drawn attention to the enormous historic and logistical changes which will be wrought by the accession of ten new members and which will be the climax of the Presidency.