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Taoiseach travels to Washington to meet US president Joe Biden

Taoiseach Micheal Martin is travelling to Washington DC on Monday for a series of engagements to mark St Patrick’s Day.

e will meet US President Joe Biden as part of his four-day trip.

It will be the first time the Fianna Fail leader has met Mr Biden at the White House after last year’s celebrations were scaled back because of the coronavirus pandemic.

On Tuesday, Mr Martin will take part in a cultural programme, which includes lunch for Congressman Richie Neal, a ceremony in honour of former SDLP leader and civil rights campaigner John Hume, a Tourism Ireland reception, and a special performance of Riverdance.

On Wednesday he will carry out a series of economic engagements, including a Women in Business Executive roundtable, a US Chamber of Commerce and Science Foundation Ireland event, and the Ireland Funds’ 30th National Gala.

On Thursday, there will be a programme of events at the White House and Capitol Hill, including a breakfast hosted by US Vice President Kamala Harris, the Speaker’s Lunch on Capitol Hill, a bilateral between the Taoiseach and President Biden, as well as the traditional Shamrock Ceremony and Ambassador’s St Patrick’s Day Reception.

In meetings, the leaders are expected to discuss the strong cultural and economic ties between Ireland and the US, as well as the situation in Ukraine and ongoing support for the Good Friday Agreement.

In a statement, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the two men will reaffirm the “close and historic partnership” between the United States and Ireland and the “extraordinary bonds between our people”.

“They will discuss their countries’ contributions to the international effort to support the people of Ukraine and to impose costs on Russia for its unprovoked and unjustified war,” Ms Psaki added.

“They will also talk about a range of global issues and shared priorities, including combating the Covid-19 pandemic worldwide, strengthening global health security, tackling the climate crisis, and working together on the United Nations Security Council.

“In addition, they will discuss their continued support for the Good Friday Agreement (also known as the Belfast Agreement).

“Vice President Kamala Harris will host the Taoiseach for a breakfast at the Naval Observatory on March 17.”