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Irish PM calls for cease-fire during remarks with Biden

President Biden met with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar Friday, where the leader said he thinks there should be a cease-fire “as soon as possible” between Israel and Hamas.

Varadkar said he was “keen” to speak with Biden about the war in Gaza, as the two leaders met at the White House to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

“You know, my – my view that we need to have a cease-fire as soon as possible to get food and medicine in, to get the hostages out,” Varadkar said.

Biden interjected, saying “And I agree.”

The Prime Minister continued, saying he and Biden “need to talk about how we can make that happen and move towards a two-state solution, which I think is the only – the only way we’ll have lasting peace and security.”

“I agree,” Biden responded.

Both leaders have faced increased pressure from their respective countries to get Israel to agree to a cease-fire, so remaining hostages can escape Hamas’ control and so necessary humanitarian aid can reach Palestinians in Gaza.

After Biden’s recent State of the Union address, he was caught on a hot mic during a conversation with Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), who urged the president to keep pressure on Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Biden told Bennet that he told Netanyahu that they were “going to have a come-to-Jesus meeting.” His remarks follow a shift in intensity, as the president ramps up his public frustrations with Netanyahu and Israel plans to invade the city of Rafah, where more than a million civilians fled to after the start of the war.

In recent weeks, Biden announced that the U.S. and other allied countries would begin air dropping humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza and said the military will build a temporary pier near the territory to deliver more supplies.

Top Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called for new elections in Israel and criticized Netanyahu’s handling of the war with Hamas. Biden said he was informed about Schumer’s opinion and said it was “a good speech,” and thinks many Americans share the senator’s concern.

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