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Biden to visit Northern Ireland and Ireland next week

President Biden will travel to the United Kingdom and Ireland next week to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, the White House announced Wednesday.

Biden will visit Belfast, Northern Ireland, next Tuesday and Wednesday to mark the signing of the accords, which ended the Northern Ireland conflict known as the Troubles. Northern Ireland is still part of the United Kingdom, while Ireland is its own republic.

Biden will then travel to Ireland for the remainder of the week to meet with Irish leaders and to deliver an address to “celebrate the deep, historic ties that link our countries and people,” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement. He will make stops in Dublin, County Louth and County Mayo.

John Kirby, a White House spokesperson on national security issues, said Biden is scheduled to speak to Ireland’s parliament in Dublin next Thursday. The president will likely attend a festival in County Mayo on Friday, Kirby said.

The president frequently talks about his Irish heritage with great pride and often quotes Irish poet William Butler Yeats. Biden hosted Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar last month at the White House for St. Patrick’s Day, where the two hinted at a possible Biden visit to Ireland.

“I promise you that we’re going to roll out the red carpet and it’s going to be a visit like no other. Everyone’s excited about it already,” Varadkar said last month at the White House. “We’re going to have great crowds who would love to see you.”

In addition to the Good Friday Agreement, Biden during his upcoming trip will likely address a new trade agreement, the Windsor Framework, aimed at allowing goods to flow freely to Northern Ireland from the rest of the United Kingdom.

The framework, agreed to last month between British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, was finalized in Windsor near London and ends a dispute that has loomed since the U.K. voted in 2016 to leave the European Union.

Updated at 12:29 p.m.

Source: The Hill

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