SAN DIEGO: President Joe Biden on Monday said he intends to visit the Republic of Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland, which will soon mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday peace accords.
“It’s my intention to go to Northern Ireland and the republic,” Biden told reporters in California, where he was meeting with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Australia’s prime minister, Anthony Albanese, to announce a nuclear-powered submarine pact.
At a separate bilateral meeting, Sunak invited Biden to Northern Ireland “so we can commemorate the anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.”
“I know it’s something very special and personal to you. We’d love to have you,” Sunak said.
Biden thanked Sunak and replied that even though the deal was struck 25 years ago, “it seems like yesterday.”
The Good Friday Agreement, signed April 10, 1998, was a political settlement that wound down three decades of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland.
With tens of millions of Americans sharing ancestral roots in Ireland, the fates of the island country and the troubled northern province play outsized roles in US politics.
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The Biden administration has been closely monitoring the potential impact on the Good Friday Agreement from a British-EU trade dispute.
The White House welcomed a resolution to the dispute, dubbed the Windsor Framework, that sets customs rules at the border between Ireland, mainland Britain and Northern Ireland.