Biden celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with Irish leader at White House


WASHINGTON — Wearing a green tie and shamrock on St. Patrick’s Day, President Joe Biden hosted Ireland’s prime minister on Friday, expressing his support for the recent economic deal that has affected Ireland. Year.

While the annual Washington tradition is to celebrate the historic ties between Ireland and the United States, Biden also pondered marking the 25th anniversary of the US-brokered Good Friday deal. On the question of whether Northern Ireland will unite with Ireland or remain part of Great Britain.

The President also signed a recent agreement, known as the Windsor Framework, aimed at easing tensions over Northern Ireland’s trading status after Britain’s exit from the European Union and maintaining a quarter-century-old peace deal. emphasized.

“This is a very important step to ensure that all people in Northern Ireland have the opportunity to reach their full potential,” Biden said during a Capitol Hill luncheon celebrating the holidays. He was joined by Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, also known as Taoithatch.

At the White House, Varadkar presented Biden with a bowl of shamrocks, continuing a tradition that began in 1952.

Shamrock ended up in the White House last year despite then-Prime Minister Michelle Martin not doing so. He contracted his COVID-19 and virtually had to attend the conference while quarantined at the nearby Blair House, where world leaders often stay. Due to the pandemic, Biden and Martin’s first annual meeting was also online.

Biden, who often talks about his Irish ancestry and likes to quote Irish poets, has declared March to be Irish-American Heritage Month. The White House even dyed the water of the South Lawn Fountain green for the occasion.

For St. Patrick's Day 2023, the fountains on the north lawn of the White House will turn green.

A fountain on the north lawn of the White House has been dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day.

Alex Brandon/Associated Press

Biden said he will soon be visiting both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, to mark the 25th anniversary of the Great Peace Accords. In addition to his accolades in that area, Vladeker paid tribute to Biden and the U.S. for helping defend Ukraine from Russia.

“I would like to thank you and the United States from the bottom of my heart for your leadership in Ukraine,” Varadkar said. On Biden’s visit to Ireland, he said he would “roll the red carpet”.

The Good Friday deal has come under increasing stress following the UK’s exit from the European Union, but the most recent deal between the UK and the EU has seen a crossing of the Irish Sea from the UK to Northern Ireland. It addresses some of the issues that have arisen with respect to commerce and products.

The White House said the Windsor Framework is an important step to maintain the peace deal, and while Biden expressed support for the framework on Friday, Northern Ireland’s political leaders called for changes.

At Mr. Varadkar’s banquet at the White House, Mr. Biden announced the attempted murder of Detective John Caldwell, a prominent police officer who has led an investigation into attempted murder, organized crime and dissident militias in Northern Ireland last month. mentioned about.

The 1998 Good Friday peace agreement nearly ended the conflict, known as The Troubles, but a small splinter group of the IRA continues to mount sporadic attacks on security forces.

During decades of Catholic and Protestant violence in Northern Ireland, the leaders of Ireland’s five largest political parties, including Irish nationalist Sinn Fein and the Democratic Unionist Party, allied with the IRA, issued a rare joint statement condemning the attack on Caldwell.

Biden said it was important for the parties to stand “shoulder to shoulder” after the attacks.

Varadkar was sworn in for a second term in December as part of a job-sharing deal struck by the country’s centrist coalition government. The two leaders discussed continued support for Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression.

Vice President Kamala Harris, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff (far right), Ireland's Taoiseth Leo Varadkar (center left), and partner Matthew Barrett at the Official Vice President's Residence in Washington on St. Patrick's Day 2023 Arrive for breakfast.

Vice President Kamala Harris, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff (far right), Taoiseth Leo Varadkar of Ireland (center left), and his partner Matthew Barrett at the official vice president’s residence in Washington on Friday. Arrive for breakfast on Patrick’s Day.

Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

Varadkar and his partner, Matthew Barrett, attended breakfast at the Vice President’s house with Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, and Varadkar told attendees that Ireland was “those I am grateful for our close and deep ties with the United States.”

He said the United States has played a central role in promoting peace in Ireland. Varadkar also said the United States is a strong advocate for LGBTQ rights.

“From Stonewall to Sacramento to San Francisco. America has led the way when it comes to LGBT equality,” he said. “If America hadn’t done it, I wouldn’t be here today.”

After meeting with the president in the Oval Office, Varadkar headed to the Capitol to have lunch with congressional leaders.

Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy said the annual luncheon at the Capitol would bring together Republicans and Democrats dating back to President Ronald Reagan and Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill to toast Ireland to the day. He said he set aside the issue of

McCarthy, who is of Irish descent like Biden, joked that there is “a conflict going on” between the president and himself.

“I think you can work this out for us. Which of us is more Irish?”

“I think we have a chance that hope and history will rhyme with all our differences,” Biden said. There’s no reason why you can’t change course.”

As a college student, Varadkar, who spent the summer in the Capitol, said, “I sit next to the Speaker and the President, not to keep the peace, but to thank them for all the hard work they’ve done to keep the peace. It is a pleasure to see the prosperity of the island of Ireland.”

Associated Press writers Hannah Fingerhat and Amar Madani contributed to this report.


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Written by Natalia Chi

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