(Washington) Clovers 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 25e 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.
” Red carpet ”
The “Taoiseach”, its title in Gaelic, also said it 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 the 25th anniversary of the so-called “Good Friday” agreement.
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 using all its weight to see the “Windsor framework” process come to an end.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan spoke Thursday with Northern Irish politicians in Washington.
And in particular with the leader of the unionist party DUP, Jeffrey Donaldson, very critical of the negotiations with Brussels and who has been boycotting for this reason, for a year, the local government in which he shares power with the nationalists of Sinn Fein.
The “Good Friday” agreement, the day which designates the Friday before Easter for Christians, was signed on April 10, 1998. It put an end to decades of clashes between Catholic nationalists, supporters of a to the Republic of Ireland, and the Protestant Unionists, loyal to London.