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Joe Kennedy appointed as special envoy to Northern Ireland

Former Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) will be appointed the U.S. special envoy to Northern Ireland for economic affairs, the State Department announced Monday.

The role will involve focusing on advancing economic development and investment opportunities in Northern Ireland. It will also focus on “strengthening people-to-people ties between the United States and Northern Ireland,” according to the State Department. 

The role is intended to build on the U.S. commitment to stability in Northern Ireland and the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. President Biden, through his time in office, has stressed his commitment to protecting the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. 

The 1998 agreement ended the Northern Ireland conflict, but the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union has since sparked renewed concerns about the possibility of a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.

Kennedy served in Congress from 2013 to 2021 and is the grandson of former Attorney General Robert Kennedy, former President John F. Kennedy’s brother. He is also the great nephew of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), who was a close colleague of Biden’s in the Senate.

Kennedy retired from the House to run for the Senate in 2020 and challenge Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.). He lost the Democratic primary.

Source: The Hill

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