US President Joe Biden is heading to Northern Ireland today to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. He is expected to meet with Stormont's main political parties and hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. During his four-day trip, Mr. Biden will also travel to the Republic of Ireland where he will carry out a number of engagements.
The visit coincides with the anniversary of the Good Friday agreement, which largely brought an end to the Troubles in Northern Ireland in 1998. This marks Joe Biden's first visit to Ireland as president, focusing on visiting places that played a role in shaping who he is and exploring his Irish ancestry.
According to President Biden, he traces some of his roots back to the Finnegan family from County Louth; his great-great-great-grandfather was John Finnegans. He plans on delivering remarks alongside former US President Barack Obama this Friday during his stay in Belfast.
On Tuesday, President Biden will be marking the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement by visiting Belfast—a city that once experienced significant conflict between Northern Ireland and other parts of the UK due mainly because it had a de facto trade border between them at one point.
It is noteworthy that The Northern Ireland Assembly created under these accords has not convened since February 2022 after protests against then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit deal led by Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). This time around though, meetings between leaders like Sunak and Biden are happening without any urgent security concerns looming over them.
After spending some time in Belfast for three days, Mr. Biden will continue celebrating U.S.-Ireland ties by visiting different parts within The Republic such as Co Louth and Co Mayo—counties from which some ancestors hailed—and engaging with various local groups.
During his time in Ireland, President Biden is expected to meet with Irish President Michael D. Higgins on Thursday and Friday as well.
A major security operation will be in place for Mr. Biden's visit, involving more than 300 officers from the rest of the UK being drafted into Northern Ireland.
During his visit to the region, US President Joe Biden aims to reiterate his nation's commitment towards preserving peace and encouraging prosperity within Ulster by meeting with its main political parties' leaders tomorrow.