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Minister Meets with Key US Political Contacts on Northern Ireland during Washington DC Visit

International relations, Ireland, Minister Charles Flanagan, Northern Ireland Peace Process, Press Releases, North America, 2015

Latest U.S. Immigration Reform Prospects Also To Be Reviewed

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan T.D., visits Washington D.C. today (Wednesday) for a full programme of meetings with key Democratic and Republican contacts on Capitol Hill, senior figures in the U.S. Administration and other influential Irish-American contacts. Minister Flanagan’s visit will focus on the current situation in Northern Ireland and the ongoing political talks process. Prospects for U.S. immigration reform will also arise for discussion.

While on Capitol Hill, Minister Flanagan will meet separately with Congressmen Joseph Kennedy III, Paul Ryan, James Sensenbrenner, Richard Neal and other members of the Congressional Friends of Ireland group, and also with Senator Patrick Leahy. Speaking ahead of the meetings, Minister Flanagan said:

“The past year has shown the great value of engagement with our friends from Washington, including in the continuing process of talks in Northern Ireland which has included valuable US input, especially by Senator Gary Hart. I’m glad to have this opportunity to sit down with friends from both sides of the aisle and brief them directly on the current state of play. I also look forward to hearing their views on how we might advance our shared U.S. immigration reform objectives.”

Later this week Minister Flanagan will speak about Northern Ireland issues in New York with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland. Further discussions will take place today (Wednesday) in Washington with representatives of the U.S. National Security Council and senior members of Vice President Biden’s staff.

Later this evening on Capitol Hill, Minister Flanagan will address a special event to highlight the work of the International Fund for Ireland (IFI). Speaking on the importance of the Fund, Minister Flanagan said:

“I will take this opportunity to highlight once more how the IFI is an excellent policy instrument for building and sustaining peace in Northern Ireland, and how the solidarity and support of the US on the journey to peace in Northern Ireland continues to be of immense value. The Fund’s programmes seek to tackle the sectarian attitudes, fears and mistrust within and between communities that continue to limit progress towards a lasting peace and shared future.”

ENDS

Press Office

30 September 2015

 

Notes for Editors

Biographical details of the U.S. political contacts Minister Flanagan will meet with on Capitol Hill and in New York are available at:

Congressmen Joseph Kennedy III

Congressman Paul Ryan

Congressman James Sensenbrenner

Congressman Richard Neal

Senator Patrick Leahy

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland

The International Fund for Ireland (IFI) is an independent international organisation which was established by the British and Irish Governments in 1986. Financed by contributions from the United States of America, the European Union, Canada, Australia and New Zealand; the Fund promotes economic and social advance, and encourages contact, dialogue and reconciliation between nationalists and unionists throughout Ireland. At its core, the Fund’s mission is to tackle the underlying causes of sectarianism and violence and to build reconciliation between people and within and between communities throughout the island of Ireland.