We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

US President Joe Biden DPA/PA Images
no visits

Biden won't host foreign leaders at White House for 'a couple of months', spokesperson says

It was confirmed last week that the Taoiseach won’t be travelling to the White House for St Patrick’s Day.

US PRESIDENT JOE Biden will not be hosting foreign counterparts at the White House for at least a couple months, his spokesperson has said, underlining the administration’s strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols.

“It will be a couple of months before the president has an in-person or invites a foreign leader to meet in person here at the White House,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.

These comments come after it was confirmed on Friday that Taoiseach Micheál Martin won’t be travelling to the White House for St Patrick’s Day celebrations. 

The occasion will instead be marked remotely, with an in-person meeting with President Joe Biden not possible due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Irish and US officials are currently working out how best to mark the day, a spokesperson for the Taoiseach said. 

“These arrangements will take full account of the challenges of Covid and we expect that on this occasion the tradition will be upheld via a programme of virtual events.”

There had been no specific invite for Martin to travel to the White House this year but an “annual standing invitation” has existed each year since 1956.

The White House also said today that imminent foreign trips for Biden are not expected.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – the first foreign leader to get a phone call from newly sworn-in Biden in January – sparked speculation that an in-person summit was being planned for February.

“The two leaders agreed to meet next month,” Trudeau’s office said after the call.

However, Psaki said only a video link was planned. 

“We can meet over video, as you all know,” she said.

Psaki said discussions are underway on holding the traditional presidential State of the Union address to a packed joint session of Congress, but due to Covid restrictions it “obviously will look different”.

With reporting by Rónán Duffy and © – AFP 2021 

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel