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US-Irish relations ‘strong’ ahead of White House visit

The relationship between Ireland and the US could not be stronger, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said.

“A hundred years of official diplomatic relations have woven a relationship that is stronger and deeper than ever,” Mr Varadkar said at an event hosted at the Irish ambassador’s residence in Washington DC last night.

In his remarks, he also celebrated the countries’ long-standing, two-way trade relations, emphasising that he was “proud” Ireland was one of the top 10 investors in the US.

Today, Mr Varadkar will meet US vice president Kamala Harris before a bilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden at the White House.

He will also meet the Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Johnson, at Capitol Hill.

On Sunday, The Taoiseach will also gift Mr Biden a bowl of shamrock as part of an annual tradition to mark St Patrick’s Day.

Mr Varadkar started the trip on Monday, and since then has spoken several times at about how he will use the special platform of the St Patrick’s Day visit to press Mr Biden to back a ceasefire in the Gaza, while also thanking the US for leadership in support for Ukraine.

He said that the highlight of his trip so far was seeing Northern Ireland First Minister Michelle O’Neill and Deputy First Minister Emma Little-Pengelly jointly address the Ireland Funds gala in Boston.

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