US, Ireland celebrate ‘historic’ partnership

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The United States and Ireland has celebrated the ‘historic’ partnership.

According a statement released on Wednesday March 17, 2021, from the White House, it is a celebration of cultural ties that underpin a robust and longstanding partnership.

“Our commitment to democratic values and our shared spirit of resilience and determination are at the heart of our cooperation.

“Today, in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day and to reaffirm the United States’ close partnership with Ireland, President Biden will host Micheál Martin, Prime Minister of Ireland, for a virtual bilateral meeting,” the statement reads.

While reiterating the commitment of Biden administration to combating COVID-19, the statement says ending the pandemic is the top priority for the President.

It adds, “Our two countries are committed to working together to safely restore global travel, work within multilateral fora to prevent and respond to future outbreaks, and ensure a sustainable global economic recovery.

“The United States and Ireland have long partnered bilaterally and through multilateral institutions to advance democratic values in the world and to protect these values from authoritarian threats.

“This year, as Ireland takes a seat on the United Nations Security Council, we will redouble our joint work on peacekeeping, conflict resolution, accountability mechanisms, and women’s rights. Ireland and the United States will also work together to strengthen the United States-European Union partnership.”

It continues that, “The United States and Ireland share a deep trade and investment relationship. Ireland’s foreign direct investment in the United States was approximately $343.5 billion in 2019 and supported 336,400 U.S.-based jobs.

“Today, more than 900 U.S.-owned firms operate in Ireland. The President and the Taoiseach are committed to ensuring this prosperity provides jobs and opportunity for the middle class.”

The statement further states that for over twenty years the Good Friday Agreement (also known as the Belfast Agreement) has been the bedrock of peace, stability, and prosperity for all the people of Northern Ireland.

“The United States continues to support the agreement and its implementation. Since 1986 the United States has contributed more than $544 million to the International Fund for Ireland for projects that sustain the peace process and generate cross-community engagement and economic opportunity.

“The Irish and American people enjoy a special bond. Over 30 million Americans, almost ten percent of the population, claim Irish heritage. We are committed to preserving and strengthening that bond through educational, cultural, and professional exchange and development opportunities,” it reads.

It explains that before the pandemic, per capita, Ireland hosted the largest number of American study abroad students in the world. Nearly 12,000 Americans study abroad there each year.

“In addition, close to 8,000 Irish citizens come to the United States in a given year on private and government funded exchange opportunities. We ensure close ties for the next generation of Irish and Americans through the Exchange Visitor Program and the Ireland Intern Work and Travel program. We look forward to restarting and growing these programs.

“The United States and Ireland work at all levels of government to strengthen our relationship. Municipalities in Ireland and the United States work closely together as part of 49 Sister City International pairings,” it concludes.

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