President Biden Meeting With Who?

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

On Monday, President Biden announced that he would be visiting Northern Ireland for the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement next month. When speaking with reporters before a meeting with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Biden told reporters that he intended on visiting both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Prior to these comments, Biden had been meeting with Sunak in order to formalize the AUKUS security agreement. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was also present during the agreement.

At the start of the meeting, Sunak had told Biden that he was hoping to see the U.S. President commemorating the anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. Sunak pointed out that this occasion was also “very special and personal” to Biden, which is why they would “love to have you.”

In response, Biden said, “Twenty-five years. It seems like yesterday. Like yesterday. Thank you.”

The Good Friday Agreement was a peace deal formed on April 10, 1998, between former British and Irish prime ministers Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern and former U.S. Senator George Mitchell (D-ME). Biden, who frequently talks about his Irish heritage, is a vocal supporter of the peace deal.

Prior to Sunak’s invitation, the Guardian had reported that Biden was scheduling a trip to Belfast next month as well. The agreement was necessary for ending the conflict between Ireland and Northern Ireland. However, the U.K.’s exit from the European Union has led to more calls for a strong border to be established between the two countries.