Washington DC, 18 March 2023 (TDI): The United States (US) President Joe Biden welcomed Irish Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar to the White House on Friday to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and strengthen the friendship between the US and Ireland.

The meeting included discussions on a range of issues, including Brexit, the Good Friday Agreement, and the situation in Ukraine.

During their meeting, President Biden and Prime Minister Varadkar discussed the progress made in negotiations surrounding the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, commonly known as Brexit.

The Irish government played an integral role in the negotiations and pushed for the inclusion of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

It is designed to maintain an open border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK, and the Republic of Ireland, an EU member.

President Biden expressed his gratitude for the Irish government’s support and understanding of their position on Brexit. He also highlighted the importance of the Good Friday Agreement and the need to maintain peace in the region.

The two leaders also discussed the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the importance of standing up against Russian aggression. Varadkar reiterated Ireland’s support for Ukraine and pledged to stand with the country for as long as it takes.

Cultural ties between US and Ireland

In addition to their discussions on political issues, the leaders also highlighted the cultural ties between the US and Ireland.

President Biden, who has Irish ancestry, praised the longstanding tradition of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the US and the strong friendship between the two nations.

The fountain on the Lawn of the White House is dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day

Following their meeting at the White House, Joe Biden and Prime Minister, Varadkar attended a Friends of Ireland Caucus luncheon hosted by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

They then returned to the White House for a St. Patrick’s Day reception, where Varadkar presented the president with a crystal bowl full of shamrocks, as per tradition.

President Biden and Taoiseach Varadkar onstage with a bowl of shamrocks

The in-person meetings at the White House and lunch with congressional leaders at the Capitol were suspended for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, with the successful rollout of vaccines and other public health measures, President Biden and Prime Minister Varadkar were able to resume this important tradition this year.

Also Read: US & UK discuss Northern Ireland Protocol

Niall Horan, the Irish native formerly of One Direction, also gave a flawless performance in the East Room, before an audience that included President Joe Biden, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Sen.

Horan’s playlist included Heaven, Flicker, This Town, and Spancil Hill, which is about emigration, and his performance was impeccable.

Irish singer Niall Horan performs at a St. Patrick’s Day reception for US President Joe Biden and Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in the East Room of the White House

In addition to his meeting with President Biden, Prime Minister Varadkar and his partner, Matthew Barrett, attended a breakfast with Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, at the vice president’s official residence.

Ireland’s Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (left) and Vice President Kamala Harris (right) attend a St. Patrick’s Day breakfast at the Vice President’s residence in Washington

Overall, the meeting between President Biden and Prime Minister Varadkar demonstrated the strong ties between the United States and Ireland and highlighted the importance of working together to address global challenges.