Joe Biden

Remarks Prior to a Meeting With Prime Minister Leo Varadkar of Ireland in Dublin, Ireland

April 13, 2023

Prime Minister Varadkar. So, Mr. President, really good to welcome you again to Farmleigh. I was saying that we last met here, I think, back in 2017, in a different time. That was a private visit.

But it's wonderful to have you back in Ireland. And I think the visit has been going extremely well, and you very much grace us with your presence. And look forward to the meeting later on.

President Biden. Well, it was great to see you in—on St. Patrick's Day. It was great to see you in Washington. You know, I think there is a—there really is an opportunity to make serious progress not just because of the accords that were signed 25 years ago, but I mean just in terms of the way you're leading Ireland.

Ireland is moving in the way that is taking its place in the world, that is working on helping countries around the world that are in—dealing with starvation. And the way you've welcomed—and I know it's not easy—welcomed Ukrainians here, and the leadership you've shown.

And I just think that it feels so good to be able to have this emerging and stronger and stronger relationship between the United States and Ireland. I think our values are—the same, and I think our concerns are the same.

So I'm really looking forward to continuing to work with you.

Prime Minister Varadkar. Thank you. And look forward—later on to hearing about your visit to Belfast and your—meeting with the party leaders. We're—very keen to see the Good Friday Agreement institutions functioning again. And Prime Minister Sunak and I are going to be working together on that.

But really want to thank you and your administration and your country's leadership when it comes to Ukraine, because I never thought in my lifetime that we'd see a war of this nature happen in Europe again.

And democracy and liberty and the things that we believe in are on retreat—are in retreat in large parts of the world. And if it wasn't for American leadership and if it wasn't for America and Europe working together, I don't know what kind of world we'd live in.

So we—really do appreciate your leadership and your personal leadership, both in terms of securing peace in Ireland, but also in trying to protect democracy and liberty here in Europe.

President Biden. Well, I think what you and Prime Minister Sunak worked out in terms of the other accords was very valuable as well. So I'm looking forward to talking to you about a lot of this in detail.

Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at approximately 2:10 p.m. at Farmleigh House. In his remarks, he referred to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of the United Kingdom. Prime Minister Varadkar referred to Michelle O'Neill, vice president, Sinn Fein opposition party in Ireland and Northern Ireland; Naomi Long and Doug Beattie, members, Northern Ireland Assembly, in their respective capacities as leaders of the Alliance Party and Ulster Unionist Party; and Members of Parliament Jeffrey M. Donaldson and Colum Eastwood of the United Kingdom, in their respective capacities as leaders of the Democratic Unionist Party and Social Democratic and Labour Party.

Joseph R. Biden, Remarks Prior to a Meeting With Prime Minister Leo Varadkar of Ireland in Dublin, Ireland Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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