Leo Varadkar arrives in Washington for St Patrick's Day events

Leo Varadkar arrives in Washington for St Patrick's Day events

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has arrived in the United States for a series of engagements ahead of his meeting with the US president on St Patrick's Day.

Joe Biden will host the Taoiseach at the White House on Friday where they will express support for the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement and the recent deal on post-Brexit trade rules for Northern Ireland.

A spokeswoman for the Taoiseach told The Irish Times that the leaders would be discussing “the close relationship between Ireland and United States”.

The president is expected to visit Ireland in April to mark the 25th anniversary of the Belfast Agreement, although no dates have yet been confirmed.


The spokeswoman said Mr Varadkar planned to discuss Northern Ireland with Mr Biden this week, particularly in the light of the forthcoming anniversary.


Mr Biden, who often speaks with pride of his Irish roots, had welcomed the agreement reached last month between Britain and the EU, and described it as an "essential step" to ensuring that the peace from the Good Friday Agreement was preserved.

“It is expected the Taoiseach and the president will discuss the thriving bilateral relationship between Ireland and the US and the plans to continue developing trade and investment opportunities”, the spokeswoman said.

She said Mr Varadkar was also likely to speak with the president about the global economy and EU-US relations.

“It is also expected that they will discuss the war in Ukraine and how both Ireland and the United States can continue their unwavering support for the Ukrainian people”, the spokeswoman said.


The Taoiseach is also scheduled to speak at an event near the US Capitol in Washington on Thursday which is being organised by the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Irish-American media organisation,

It is aimed at thanking Irish Americans working on Capitol Hill for their continued assistance to Ireland.

Separately, Mr Varadkar is scheduled to announce and present Science Foundation Ireland’s St Patrick’s Day Science Medal award at a ceremony in Washington.

The Taoiseach will also be meeting client companies of Enterprise Ireland as well as taking part with a number of high-level executives at an IDA Ireland/Science Foundation Ireland technology round-table.

He will additionally be delivering an address to the US chamber of commerce in Washington and attending an event at Howard University with the African-American Irish diaspora network.

Mr Varadkar will also be one of the main guests at the Ireland Fund’s national gala dinner. Apart from meeting the president on Friday, the Taoiseach will also attend a breakfast with US vice-president Kamala Harris at her official residence at the US naval observatory in Washington.

Later he will attend the Friends of Ireland lunch at the US Capitol which will be hosted by the new republican speaker of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy.

He will round off St Patrick’s Day at a cultural event to mark the 25th anniversary of the Belfast Agreement at the Kennedy Centre.