Minister Flanagan meets U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry30 September 2014
Minister will attend swearing-in of new U.S. Ambassador to Ireland and mark the 90th anniversary of Ireland-US diplomatic relations
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charlie Flanagan, TD, will meet with US Vice-President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington D.C. today.
He will also attend the swearing-in of Kevin O’Malley as the new US Ambassador to Ireland.
The Minister’s Washington D.C. programme will focus on Northern Ireland, immigration reform, and Ireland-US economic links.
Minister Flanagan said:
“With the British and Irish Governments becoming directly involved in convening all-party talks in Northern Ireland in the coming weeks, my visit is an important and timely opportunity to engage with the US Administration and with Irish-American supporters of the Northern Ireland peace process. US support and engagement remains critical to sustaining the peace in Northern Ireland.
“In my meeting with Vice-President Biden, I will convey the best wishes of the Government and people of Ireland to Ambassador O’Malley as he takes up his important position. The new Ambassador’s swearing-in is all the more significant as we approach the 90thanniversary of the establishment of Ireland-U.S. diplomatic relations.
“Following our contacts last week in New York, I am looking forward to meeting again with Secretary of State Kerry.”
The Minister’s visit to Washington D.C. takes place just ahead of the 90th anniversary of Ireland-U.S. diplomatic relations. This evening, Minister Flanagan will launch a series of cultural and historical events to commemorate the anniversary at a reception hosted by Ambassador Anne Anderson.
Minister Flanagan is also meeting the US Chamber of Commerce this morning to update them on Ireland’s economic recovery, to discuss support for Irish companies which are exporting to the US and about attracting investment to Ireland.
Minister Flanagan travelled to Washington D.C. from New York, where he addressed the United Nations General Assembly last night.
30 September 2014
Note for Editors:
- At a reception hosted by Ambassador Anne Anderson, Minister Flanagan will launch a series of events being held to commemorate the 90th anniversary, including a free open-air concert of traditional Irish music and dance on Sunday October 5 at Washington’s Dupont Circle and a historical seminar on the First Decades of Irish Diplomacy in America on Tuesday October 7 at the Embassy in which Irish and U.S. academics will participate.
- Diplomatic relations between Ireland and America were established on October 7, 1924 when Prof. Timothy A. Smiddy presented his credentials as Ambassador (Minister Plenipotentiary) of the Irish Free State to President Coolidge.
- A UCC economics professor and close friend of Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins, Smiddy was an economic adviser to the Treaty delegation in London in 1921. In March 1922 he was sent by Collins as the envoy and fiscal agent of Dáil Éireann to the U.S., and remained in Washington until 11 January 1929.
- The US was the first country with which the Irish Free State opened diplomatic relations. The choice reflected the importance of Irish-America and the support that it had shown during the campaign for Irish independence, as well as America’s global power and economic importance. Fallout from the Irish civil war and anti-Free State agitation in the US were further factors behind the decision.