UK PM Rishi Sunak will meet Joe Biden in Northern Ireland next week
April 9, 2023: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will welcome Biden when Air Force One lands on Tuesday evening, which will be closely watched on both sides of the Irish border.
Rishi Sunak will welcome Joe Biden on Tuesday evening when Air Force One lands on both sides of the Irish border for a closely watched visit amid political uncertainty in Northern Ireland.
The US President, Joe Biden, will fly into Northern Ireland next week to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Peace Accords, and the British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, will be present for the event.
Since playing a crucial role in brokering the peace deal in 1998, the United States has emerged as an influential voice in Northern Ireland politics, working to maintain peace amidst the tensions caused by Britain’s departure from the European Union.
Rishi Sunak will welcome Biden on Tuesday evening when Air Force One lands for a closely watched visit on both sides of the Irish border at a time of growing political uncertainty in Northern Ireland.
Rishi Sunak hosted a gala dinner to commemorate the anniversary on Wednesday, his office said in a statement giving few details of his trip.
In addition to his visit to Northern Ireland, Joe Biden will also spend time in the Irish Republic, where he plans to visit Dublin and the ancestral homes of two of his relatives, a source of pride for the US President who often speaks about his Irish heritage.
The Good Friday Agreement, signed on April 10, 1998, brought an end to three decades of sectarian violence that had devastated Northern Ireland since the late 1960s.
However, the anniversary is being overshadowed by a year-long boycott by Northern Ireland’s largest pro-British unionist party of the central power-sharing government established by the peace deal.
The Democratic Unionist Party is furious about post-Brexit trade rules that treat the province differently from the rest of the UK.
In March, Britain’s MI5 intelligence agency raised the threat level from domestic terrorism in Northern Ireland to “severe” – meaning an attack is likely – although the move was not believed to be linked to the anniversary.
During the Brexit negotiations, Joe Biden has had disagreements with the British government on certain occasions.
However, the US President has recently expressed his support for the UK-EU deal, which was agreed upon to alleviate some of the tensions that arose due to the initial Brexit agreement.
Although that deal has so far failed to restore a devolved government in Northern Ireland, Rishi Sunak will try to bolster his support for the province by announcing a summit later in the year to boost international investment.
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