(Washington) Clubs and green ties in the foreground, Northern Ireland in the background: Joe Biden received Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on Friday on the occasion of St. Patrick’s Day.
In an Oval office adorned with clovers, the symbol of Ireland, in honor of the patron saint of the European country, the American president praised the “friendship” between the two countries, on this day which is also a holiday for number of Irish Americans.
Joe Biden, who also claims his Irish roots on every occasion, assured that he would go “soon” to Ireland, as a symbolic date approaches: April 10, which will mark the 25th anniversary of the peace agreement. in Northern Ireland.
The subject remains more than ever in the news: the European Union and the United Kingdom recently concluded, after difficult negotiations, an agreement supposed to preserve the fragile balance of the British province after Brexit.
Leo Varadkar thanked his host for the role played by the Americans in the recent conclusion of this compromise, called the “Windsor framework”, while Joe Biden confirmed that this process, which he “supports very strongly”, would be at the menu of their bilateral meeting.
“I think we have come to a good conclusion with the ‘Windsor framework’, which will last,” said the head of the Irish government, while the text remains criticized in particular by the unionists, representing the Protestants of Ireland of the North, fiercely attached to London.
The “Taoiseach”, his title in Gaelic, also said he was “impatient” to “roll out the red carpet” for the visit of the American president, the dates of which the White House has not yet given.
Joe Biden has already been formally invited by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to come and mark 25 years of the so-called “Good Friday” agreement.
Both Joe Biden and Leo Varadkar also spoke about Ukraine and Western support in short remarks to reporters.
The two men, after a lunch with American parliamentarians, are to meet in the evening for a festive reception.
The US executive is pushing hard to bring the “Windsor Framework” process to completion.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan spoke to Northern Irish politicians in Washington on Thursday.
And in particular with the leader of the unionist party DUP, Jeffrey Donaldson, very critical of the negotiations with Brussels and who for this reason has boycotted, for a year, the local government in which he shares power with the nationalists of Sinn Fein.
The “Good Friday” agreement, the day that designates the Friday before Easter for Christians, was signed on April 10, 1998. It ended decades of clashes between Catholic nationalists, supporters of a to the Republic of Ireland, and the Protestant Unionists, loyal to London.