'History binds us’ -Biden to Irish PM on St. Patrick's Day

STORY: VARADKAR: “First of all, thanks so much for inviting me to be here…”

U.S. President Joe Biden welcomed Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar to the White House on Friday to discuss the recent post-Brexit trade deal for Northern Ireland, support for Ukraine, as well as continued backing of the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement.

The leaders exchanged greetings in the Oval Office before heading to the U.S. Capitol for a lunch with lawmakers from both countries.

“I really want to thank you for your help and support and understanding for our position on Brexit in recent years. It really made a difference. (flash) I really profoundly want to thank you and America for your leadership in relation to Ukraine.”

London and Brussels reached a deal last month to resolve post-Brexit trade tensions with Northern Ireland, which Biden discussed with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in California this week.

“It's a vital, vital step, and that's going to help ensure all the people in Northern Ireland have an opportunity to realize their full potential.”

Speaking at the Capitol, Biden spoke with pride about his Irish roots and reaffirmed his support for the Good Friday Agreement, which largely brought an end to political violence in Northern Ireland

“The history that binds us and values that unite us…”

Earlier this week, Biden said he intended to visit the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland in April for the 25th anniversary of the agreement.

Addressing lawmakers at the lunch, Varadkar joked that it was a pleasure to sit next to both the president and House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy, quote, "not to keep the peace" but to thank them for their support for Ireland.