Joe Kennedy appointed special envoy to Northern Ireland

Joe Kennedy
U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III addresses a gathering, Tuesday Sept. 1, 2020, in Watertown, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Charles Krupa/AP

Joe Kennedy appointed special envoy to Northern Ireland

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Former Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) has been appointed as the special envoy to Northern Ireland for economic affairs, the State Department announced Monday.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Kennedy will focus on “advancing economic development and investment opportunities in Northern Ireland” and “strengthening people-to-people ties between the United States and Northern Ireland.”

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“Today we are announcing the appointment of Joe Kennedy III as the U.S. Special Envoy to Northern Ireland for Economic Affairs,” Blinken said in a statement. “His role builds on the long-standing U.S. commitment to supporting peace, prosperity, and stability in Northern Ireland and the peace dividends of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. … I look forward to Joe’s engagement and service with the people and leaders of Northern Ireland.”

Kennedy, the grandson of former Sen. Robert Kennedy (D-MA), served in Congress from 2013 to 2021 as a rising star until he lost his primary bid to oust Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA). Kennedy’s appointment fills a position that had been left vacant after the exit of Mick Mulvaney following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris said the United Kingdom’s government welcomed the appointment and that he looks forward to strengthening the relationship between the countries.

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“The U.S. has been pivotal in supporting peace, stability, and prosperity for Northern Ireland, and we will continue working together to make Northern Ireland a great place to live, work, and do business,” Heaton-Harris told the Irish news outlet RTE. “I look forward to welcoming Joe to Belfast in the near future.”

The special envoy role was established by former President Bill Clinton, and the position helped broker the 1998 Good Friday peace deal that ended years of violence between factions keen on keeping Northern Ireland in the U.K. and others who wanted a separation.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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