The Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Noel Treacy, has said that the Government is likely to respond positively to any request for Irish troops for an EU mission to the Congo.

Earlier, EU foreign ministers heard a presentation from Foreign Policy High Representative Javier Solana on his mission to the Congo over the weekend.

Mr Solana was told by Congo President Joseph Kabila that he welcomed the proposed EU force, which would act as a deterrent to the violent disruption of elections planned for later this year.

The EU Political and Military staff will work on a detailed plan for the mission. Troop contingents from EU member states will then be requested, based on the plan.

The mission will be led by Germany, which will supply the biggest contingent in the 1,500-strong force.