US committed to NI peace and progress – Biden

US President Joe Biden has hailed the return of power-sharing in Northern Ireland as a “positive step forward”.

He made the remarks as he held bilateral talks with Taoiseach (Irish PM) Leo Varadkar at the White House as part of St Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Northern Ireland’s first and deputy first ministers are among politicians taking part in events in Washington DC.

President Biden said the US remained “committed to protecting peace and progress” in Northern Ireland.

“I was glad to see the Northern Ireland Executive back up and running and from my perspective, it’s a positive step forward,” he said.

Mr Varadkar said he was pleased to see the return of power-sharing since he and Mr Biden had met last autumn.

They also discussed support for Ukraine and other global issues, including the Israel-Gaza conflict.

President Biden said “a whole lot more has to be done in Gaza”, and Mr Varadkar said Ireland wanted to see an immediate humanitarian ceasefire being called.

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