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Taoiseach speaks to US President Elect Joe Biden and invites him 'to come back to Ireland'

Micheál Martin says he is keen to make the trip to the White House for St Patrick’s Day.

The two leaders discussed many issues, such as Brexit and the border with Northern Ireland.
The two leaders discussed many issues, such as Brexit and the border with Northern Ireland.
Image: PA

TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN spoke with US President Elect Joe Biden for twenty minutes this evening.

Martin said he had a “warm and engaging call with US President Elect”, stating that he invited Biden and his wife “to come back to Ireland when we will properly mark their success”.

The Taoiseach tweeted that Biden brings “tremendous knowledge and understanding to his new role”.

The Taoiseach said Biden has a “great love for his Irish heritage. He underlined his commitment to the Good Friday Agreement and we spoke of importance of multilateralism, for example, the Paris Accord and the WHO”.

Martin said he congratulated Biden “on the historic nature of his election” and that of Vice President Elect Kamala Harris.

“We agreed to work closely together,” said the Taoiseach.

Government sources have described the call as “very personal”. The two leaders discussed many issues, such as Brexit and the border with Northern Ireland.

Biden is understood to have told the Taoiseach that he is determined to sign back up to the Paris Accord.

A government statement after the phonecall stated:

“In a warm conversation, President-elect Biden recalled his strong Irish roots and his visit to Ireland with his family in 2016.

“The President-elect reaffirmed his full support for the Good Friday Agreement and they discussed the importance of a Brexit outcome that respects the GFA and ensures no return of a border on the island of Ireland.

“They looked forward to working together bilaterally and across a range of international areas including EU-US relations, the UN – including the Security Council, and on the important global challenges of Covid-19, economic recovery and climate change.”

The Fianna Fáil leader was not the first world leader to speak to Biden, with the US President Elect speaking to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau yesterday.

Biden spoke with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier this afternoon.

Earlier, a tweet was sent in error earlier today prior to the Taoiseach speaking with Biden, where the Taoiseach said he had just finished a “very positive call” with the US President Elect. 

A government spokesperson said the tweet was sent in error and that a phone call was being arranged. He has since spoken to Biden.

This is the first telephone call that Martin has received from a US President since he was elected as Taoiseach. 

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Martin confirmed in July that he had “not spoken with the President of the United States of America since my appointment as Taoiseach”. 

In an interview with TheJournal.ie in September, Martin said it was “no big issue” that he had not heard from US President Donald Trump since becoming Taoiseach.

Martin has previously met Biden.  

“He was the guy that initiated the first Patrick’s Day breakfast… that tradition, which Mike Pence is continuing. He [Biden] is very proud of his Irish roots,” the Taoiseach said previously.

The Taoiseach has said that he is keen to make the trip to the White House next March for the annual St Patrick’s Day events. 

“I think it is very important. All of that [meetings at the White House and Capitol Hill] creates a framework within which jobs can be created, which within Irish business can operate, in terms of exporting and importing.

“The connection and the Patrick’s Day event is a significant one for Ireland, not the occupant of the office in terms of the Taoiseach.”

Signalling that he does intend to make the trip, he said:

“It’s very, very important that we maintain that link, and that tradition, and obviously, it’s all very dependent on Covid, and everything else at the time next March. But we’re very keen as a government that key economic linkages are maintained.”

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