Biden is ‘steadfast’ in his support of Belfast Agreement, says Taoiseach

President Higgins looks forward to the two countries working together to rebuild much-needed trust

Then US vice-president Joe Biden with President Michael D Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin during a visit in June 2016. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Then US vice-president Joe Biden with President Michael D Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin during a visit in June 2016. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

 

US president-elect Joe Biden is “steadfast” in his support for the Belfast Agreement and will work with the Government to protect it, the Taoiseach has said.

Micheál Martin told The Irish Times there was “no doubt” the US president-elect had a “genuine, outstanding commitment to Ireland” and was “probably the most Irish president since John F Kennedy in terms of his background, he’s never made any secret about that that.

“But he’s also steadfast in his support of the Good Friday [Belfast]Agreement and I think will work with us in the spirit of successive US administrations in continuing to build peace on the island of Ireland and [TO]maintain and nurture it and in particular to protect the institutions of the Good Friday [Belfast] Agreement,” the Taoiseach said.

He was speaking in Enniskillen at an event to mark both Remembrance Sunday and the 33rd anniversary of the IRA bombing of the memorial event in the town.

On Saturday he congratulated Mr Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris .

“Ireland takes pride in Joe Biden’s election, just as we are proud of all the generations of Irish women and Irish men and their ancestors whose toil and genius have enriched the diversity that powers America,” he said. He recognised the “significance” of Ms Harris’s election as the first woman vice president.

President Michael D Higgins said he had conveyed his best wishes to Mr Biden and Ms Harris.

Mr Higgins said he and his wife, Sabina, had “the warmest memories” of Mr Biden’s two visits to Áras an Uachtaráin.

“The bonds between the peoples of Ireland and the United States are close and strong, and I look forward to our two countries working together to rebuild the much-needed trust in the methods and institutions of national and international solidarity and co-operation.

“That solidarity is indispensable, if we are to address the urgent challenges of our time, including such diverse issues as the need to address the cause and consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, global poverty, hunger, migration and the digitisation of our economie.

The election of Joe Biden “offers a different context” to the Brexit negotiations , Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said on RTE Radio.

He said Mr Biden’s election “changes the context of so much in our world” because he “recognises the value of agreement, of institutions and all of that on a global level”.

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald said the Biden campaign was “very clear in its support for Ireland, for the Good Friday Agreement”.

The really interesting point in the US election was that “ it really mattered who politics served, who was listened to and who was ignored, who had the inside track and who was left on the outside.”

In Northern Ireland, First Minister and DUP leader Arlene Foster tweeted her congratulations. “The United States administration whether Democrat or Republican, has always been willing to help & support us. A tremendously important relationship as we mark our centenary & plan for Northern Ireland’s second century.” Deputy First Minister Sinn Féin’s Michelle O’Neill congratulated the pair noting Ms Harris was the first woman vice president - Additional reporting: PA