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Taoiseach brings EU Presidency message to US for Saint Patrick’s Day

15.03.2013, 14:16 GMT


Taoiseach Enda Kenny (Irish Prime Minister) and other Irish government representatives to visit 21 countries for Saint Patrick’s Day. EU-US Trade to form part of discussions with President Obama, Vice-President Biden and Congressional leaders.

Following the conclusion of the European Council in Brussels, where key elements of the Irish Presidency’s jobs and growth agenda were discussed in depth, the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny proceeds to Washington and other US destinations. The visit, part of an annual Saint Patrick’s Day programme of Irish government visits around the world to promote Ireland, is being complemented this year with a strong  EU Presidency dimension.

The Taoiseach is travelling to Washington DC as a guest of President Obama at the White House. While in Washington, he will attend the traditional Speaker’s lunch on Capitol Hill and attend a breakfast meeting with Vice President Biden as well as participate in a number of meetings with political and business leaders and the Irish-American community. He will also give a key note address in George Washington University where he will be awarded the University’s ‘Making Democracy Work’ Award.

As he departed for his visit, the Taoiseach said:

“I am pleased that this visit comes at a time when, under Ireland’s EU Presidency, we are working to secure a mandate to formally launch negotiations on an EU-US Free Trade Agreement. Such an agreement, as a key part of a package of strategic trade partnerships for Europe, would be a key element in jump-starting European and global growth and job creation.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will host an event in honor of Ireland’s presidency of the Council of the European Union, where the Taoiseach will deliver the keynote address.  The program will discuss how Ireland’s presidency of the EU at this crucial point in time can help drive the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership forward. Watch it live at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on March 18th at 9:30 GMT.

The Taoiseach will be joined in Washington by the Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore. Minister Gilmore has his own programme of engagements in the US, while a total of 18 other Irish Government Ministers will travel to 21 countries across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Each Minister will carry with them the Irish EU Presidency’s message of stability, jobs and growth and will use their visits to encourage further engagement and trade with the European Union.

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