Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin said Wednesday that President Joe Biden “personifies” the U.S.’ dedication towards ensuring “peace in Ireland.”
“The Good Friday agreement would not have happened without the interest and support of successive American administrations,” Martin said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “And in many ways President Biden personifies that American commitment to an interest in Ireland and above all interest in peace in Ireland. And that’s the approach that we are taking.”
The Good Friday Agreement, or the Belfast Agreement, was agreed to on April 10, 1998 and established a devolved system of government in Northern Ireland, according to The Northern Ireland Assembly Education Service.
Biden and Martin will video call Wednesday to commemorate St. Patrick’s Day as opposed to meeting in-person, which is usually done every year, The Hill reported. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are anticipated to reaffirm the U.S.’ commitment to the Good Friday Agreement that ended a bloody conflict in Northern Ireland.
Ireland and Northern Ireland share a border, but Northern Ireland’s sovereignty lies with the United Kingdom and Ireland’s sovereignty is with the European Union, The Hill reported. Worries about a potentially defined border between the two Irelands arose again after Brexit, which has disturbed the Good Friday Agreement that has ensured peace for over 20 years.
“First of all, there is no hard border on the island of Ireland,” Martin said.
The Irish prime minister stressed the responsibility of further creating “reconciliation and understanding” and ensuring “a constructive relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union going into the future,” despite changes from Brexit.
Martin said an agreement from the EU and its British neighbor has a method that allows Northern Ireland to access the EU’s single market as well the United Kingdom’s marketplace.
“There have been some teething problems in respect of that, but there are mechanisms within the agreement that facilitate the ironing out or the resolution of those issues over time,” Martin said.
Martin said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Biden and allies from Capitol Hill’s support of the Good Friday Agreement “has been very influential in securing our key objectives and preserving that peace.”