United States President Joe Biden met Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at the White House on Friday and spoke in the support of the Windsor Framework, which the UK and the European Union struck a deal on February 27 regarding post-Brexit trade rules for Northern Ireland, CNN reported.
The Windsor Framework is a post-Brexit trade rule for Northern Ireland with a view to removing the border between Britain and Northern Ireland running through the Irish Sea.
With the Irish Taoiseach's visit to the US, the country resumed the St. Patrick's Day tradition for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic and for the first time the president, who often notes his Irish roots, has been in office, CNN reported.
The St. Patrick's Day festivities, complete with a green-dyed White House fountain, come ahead of an anticipated presidential trip to Northern Ireland to mark the upcoming anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement which the United States helped broker a quarter-century ago to bring an end to decades of sectarian violence. Biden said earlier this week that he intends to make the visit, although formal details have not been announced by the White House.
At a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office with the Taoiseach, also known as the Irish prime minister, the president called the visit "a big day."
"Ireland and the United States share friendship and long, long traditions," Biden said.
President Biden also thanked Varadkar for his partnership on the Ukraine war and on economic issues.
Later Friday afternoon, Biden attended the Friends of Ireland Caucus St. Patrick's Day Luncheon on Capitol Hill, using the moment to wax poetic about his family ties to Ireland and seek common ground with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, according to CNN.
"I agree with the speaker. There's no reason why we can't find common ground," the president said at the luncheon, adding, "There's no reason why we can't hope to change this direction of extremes (in) both parties are pushing ... I think it's really important and that is the power of friendship. I think it's a power of strength of our partnership if we work at it, and simply put, I think it's the Irish of it."
On Friday evening, the White House will host Varadkar again for a Shamrock presentation and reception, where former One Direction star Niall Horan will also perform.
Vice President Kamala Harris welcomed Varadkar to the Naval Observatory Friday morning, CNN reported. (ANI)