President Joe Biden is heading to Ireland, the Republic and the North, to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.
The visit was confirmed at a press conference in San Diego where Biden was meeting with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
Sunak, according to reports, told Biden that he looked forward to inviting him to Northern Ireland, which “hopefully you will be able to do an so we can commemorate the anniversary of the Good Friday agreement."
“I know it’s something very special and personal to you. We would love to have you over,” said Sunak.
“It’s my intention to go to Northern Ireland and the Republic,” said President Biden.
the president has a standing invitation to the Republic.
According to the Irish Times, Tánaiste Micheál Martin described the president's words as “very welcome news,"
“I think his commitment to the Good Friday agreement, along with [former speaker of the US House of Representatives] Nancy Pelosi has been extraordinary,” Mr. Martin, who arrived in New York on Monday for a full week of St. Patrick's Day events, said.
President Biden visited Ireland as vice president in 2016. An April visit would be his first time back, and his first as president.
The anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement in April 10.
The Times report stated that initial planning suggests that Mr. Biden may visit Belfast on the day of the anniversary for a planned event at Queen’s University Belfast commemorating the peace deal. Former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton will be attending that event while former president Bill Clinton is also an anticipated visitor to Belfast on or around the anniversary.
President Biden will likely follow Belfast with a visit to Dublin.
The Irish Independent reported that the Biden is set to last five days, "with most of his time here spent in his ancestral home of Mayo."
That could well mean three days in the Connacht county.
After their meeting in San Diego, which also included Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, a White House "Readout" stated in relation to Biden and Sunak: "In addition, they reaffirmed their shared and steadfast commitment to the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, and welcomed the Windsor Framework as an important step in preserving the peace and progress in Northern Ireland brought by the Agreement."