Biden to commemorate anniversary of Northern Ireland peace agreement next week

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology in the State Dining Room of the White House, Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) Patrick Semansky/AP

Biden to commemorate anniversary of Northern Ireland peace agreement next week

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President Joe Biden will mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday peace agreement during a trip to Northern Ireland next week, the White House announced.

The trip will take place from April 11 to April 14 and begin with a stop in Belfast to commemorate the peace agreement. He will also “underscore the readiness of the United States to support Northern Ireland’s vast economic potential to the benefit of all communities,” according to the White House.

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“He will discuss our close cooperation on the full range of shared global challenges. He will also hold various engagements, including in Dublin, County Louth, and County Mayo, where he will deliver an address to celebrate the deep, historic ties that link our countries and people,” the White House said.

The Good Friday Agreement ended years of violence between factions keen on keeping Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom and groups that fought for a separation. Bloodshed over Northern Ireland’s status spanned from the 1960s to the 1990s and claimed the lives of over 3,600.

Biden’s visit will take place roughly a week before an entourage of other leaders, such as British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, King Charles III, and former President Bill Clinton, will celebrate the diplomatic breakthrough. Clinton helped broker the agreement during his presidency.

Northern Ireland emerged as a point of contention during Brexit, with the U.K. and the European Union feuding for years over whether or not there would be a hard border with Ireland. Back in February, the two sides cut a deal to relax trade rules, but there are outstanding matters that need to be resolved.

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A descendant of Irish immigrants, Biden’s trip will be a return to his ancestral homeland. He has often touted his Irish roots.

So far, Biden’s four-day venture does not feature any announced visits with the British king. Biden is not planning to partake in the coronation of Charles in May in keeping with U.S. tradition, though first lady Jill Biden is set to attend.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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