Nicolas Sarkozy has said he is coming to Dublin to listen to and understand Irish objections to the Lisbon Treaty.

The French President, who arrives in the capital on Monday, made his comments in an interview with The Irish Times.

Mr Sarkozy said that the Irish decision to reject the Lisbon Treaty had to be respected, but added that the democratic choice of the 23 states who have ratified the treaty could not be overlooked.

Mr Sarkozy sparked controversy earlier in the week when he told members of his party, during a closed-door meeting, that the Irish will have to vote again.