US President Joe Biden said at a Democratic Party event in New York on Wednesday that his four-day visit to Ireland last month was designed to make sure that “the Brits didn’t screw around” when it came to London’s commitments towards Northern Ireland and its relations with the leadership in Dublin.
“I got to go back to Ireland for the, for the, the Irish accords, to make sure they weren’t, the Brits didn’t screw around and Northern Ireland didn’t walk away from their commitments,” Biden told reporters at the event.
His visit to the island, the majority of which was spent in the Republic of Ireland, marked the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement – the 1998 political deal that brought an end to decades of conflict between predominantly Catholic and Protestant factions in Northern Ireland during which thousands of people lost their lives.
Ahead of the trip, Biden told the media that the purpose of the visit was to “keep the peace” in Northern Ireland. Following a brief meeting with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in Belfast during the initial leg of the trip, the White House released a statement to say that both leaders had “reaffirmed their shared commitment” to the Good Friday Agreement.