Biden to affirm support for Good Friday Agreement in meeting with Irish PM

Biden to affirm support for Good Friday Agreement in meeting with Irish PM
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President BidenJoe BidenUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Biden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan Biden to tap law professor who wants to 'end banking as we know it' as OCC chief: reports MORE on Wednesday will speak via video with the prime minister of Ireland to mark St. Patrick's Day in a virtual version of what is typically an annual in-person celebration.

Both Biden and Vice President Harris, who is on the West Coast to promote the administration's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, will hold separate bilateral meetings with the Taoiseach, Micheál Martin.

"The aim has certainly been to keep the schedule as close to how events happened over the last 60 years or so when we were doing these meetings in person," a senior administration official said in a briefing with reporters.

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The official said Biden, who has Irish roots, hoped to be able to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in person next year with the Taoiseach, but events would remain virtual for 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The president and vice president are both expected to affirm their support for the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which ended the Northern Ireland conflict.

Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, shares a border with Ireland, which is part of the European Union. The U.K.'s exit from the EU sparked renewed concerns about the possibility of a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, upsetting the agreement that has maintained peace for more than two decades.

Biden and Martin will also discuss issues such as global efforts to combat the pandemic, global security and economic development.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar was one of the last world leaders to meet with former President TrumpDonald TrumpUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Heller won't say if Biden won election MORE at the White House before global travel was curtailed last March due to the pandemic.