(Washington) The Biden administration on Monday appointed Joe Kennedy III, a descendant of the long Kennedy dynasty who so dominated American political life, special envoy for Northern Ireland.
The post has been recalibrated and will have particular responsibility for the economy and promoting investment and development in Northern Ireland, according to a statement from US Foreign Minister Antony Blinken.
Among the former emissaries was Senator George Mitchell, architect of the Good Friday Agreement, which in 1998 ended three decades of bloody conflict, providing for a division of power between the largest Unionist and Nationalist parties.
Joe Kennedy III will thus have to seek to promote development “for the benefit of all communities” Protestant and Catholic, in the wake of the long-standing support of the United States, indicated Mr. Blinken, specifying that other diplomats will continue to work on the political aspects.
The British province of Northern Ireland is plunged into a political stalemate. At the heart of the disagreements, the Northern Irish protocol, which was negotiated at the time of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.
The Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs “welcomed” this appointment in a statement, saying that “it is a clear demonstration of the direct commitment of the President [Biden] with Ireland, as well as the enduring commitment of the United States to supporting peace and building prosperity in Northern Ireland”.
He said he was “eager to work” with the new special envoy a few months before the 25e anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.
Michelle O’Neill, the leader of Sinn-Fein, winner of the last elections in Northern Ireland, and called to be the first minister of the province, also welcomed this appointment.
“The United States remains a major partner for peace,” she said on Twitter, welcoming the fact that this appointment “emphasizes economic development and prosperity” in the region.
British Minister for Northern Ireland Chris Heaton-Harris said, also on Twitter, that the United States’ commitment to the development of the province “will create even more opportunities to advance this vital work. “.
Joe Kennedy III is the grandson of the late Senator Robert Kennedy, brother of slain former President John F. Kennedy, and was elected as a Democrat to the US House of Representatives before unsuccessfully attempting to become a Senator in 2020.
His great-great-grandfather Joseph Kennedy had been ambassador to London at the start of World War II.
His great-uncle John F. Kennedy was the first Catholic president of the United States, with current President Joe Biden being the second. The latter willingly puts forward his Irish origins.