President Joe Biden left Washington on Tuesday for a trip to Northern Ireland and Ireland, where he will celebrate his family’s heritage and commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday peace treaty.
Biden will be met by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak upon his arrival in Belfast, where Air Force One has just taken off from Joint Base Andrews.
Before he left, President Biden told reporters that maintaining the “Irish accords and the Windsor agreement” was his top concern.
Northern Ireland’s pro-independence Catholic forces and British Protestant loyalists who want the province to stay part of the United Kingdom reached a power-sharing agreement in the Good Friday Agreement of 1998.
The groundbreaking agreement, negotiated with American assistance, has been strained in light of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, raising difficult concerns about the administration of commerce over the border Connected with Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. In March, parties involved in the dispute came to an agreement, known as the Windsor Framework.
President Biden is now in Ireland, where he will stop in Belfast, Dublin, and Ballina, a village in the country’s northwest from where his grandparents emigrated to the United States in the 19th century.
Valerie Biden, his sister, and Hunter Biden, his son, joined him on the journey aboard Air Force One.