Ireland’s Prime Minister Urges President Biden He Wants A Cease-fire In Gaza

During their Oval Office meeting, Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar made it clear to President Joe Biden that he prioritized discussing Gaza and the urgent need for a cease-fire.

“The Irish prime minister emphasized the urgent need for a cease-fire to ensure the safe release of hostages. He also emphasized the importance of engaging in dialogue to facilitate a two-state solution, which he believes is the only viable path towards achieving long-lasting peace and security.”

Varadkar has consistently emphasized the urgency for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, drawing parallels to Ireland’s own experiences with imperialism and occupation. His stance goes beyond that of Biden, who has expressed support for a temporary cease-fire lasting six weeks, aimed at securing the release of hostages and alleviating the dire humanitarian situation for Palestinian civilians.

During his speech, Biden acknowledged the efforts being made by both countries to provide aid to Gaza. However, he emphasized that there is still much more work to be done in this regard.

The atmosphere in the Oval Office meeting was different from the usual lighthearted exchanges of the past, where Biden often spoke proudly of his Irish heritage. However, despite the seriousness of the meeting, Biden, who was wearing a shamrock tie in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, took a moment to share a quote from his Irish grandfather.

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“My grandfather Finnegan always had a saying, ‘May the hinge of our friendship never go rusty,'” Biden fondly recalled. He chuckled and continued, “You know, us Irish in America, we sometimes think we’re more Irish than the Irish themselves, but I don’t think we’ll ever let that friendship go rusty.”

Both Biden and Taoiseach emphasized the importance of ongoing support for Ukraine aid, as well as for Israel and Gaza, during the traditional Friends of Ireland lunch with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. This event, typically devoid of discussions on current political matters, provided a platform for the leaders to advocate for continued assistance in these crucial areas.

“I implore you to promptly deliver the national security bill to me,” expressed Biden. “This bill encompasses crucial financial support for Ukraine and Israel, as well as potentially vital humanitarian aid for Gaza. The situation in Gaza is dire, and they are in desperate need of assistance. By passing this bill, we will send a resolute message that America steadfastly defends liberty and refrains from subservience to any other nation in the world.”

House Speaker Mike Johnson also pointed out the importance of addressing international conflicts.

Johnson expressed that our hearts are heavy despite the fun fellowship due to the instability threatening Europe and the Middle East. He emphasized that our allies and friends, including Israel and Taiwan, are fighting for their right to exist.

On Friday, Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff carried on the time-honored tradition of hosting Varadkar and his spouse Matthew Barrett for breakfast at the residence. This event took place in anticipation of the upcoming holiday on Sunday, which marks the celebration of 100 years of diplomatic relationships.

During her speech at the 59th commemoration of “Bloody Sunday” in Selma, Alabama, Harris took a strong stand by urging for an immediate and temporary cease-fire. This call for action showcased the administration’s firm stance on the issue, with Harris highlighting the immense suffering taking place in Gaza.

Harris and Varadkar also commended each other for their contributions to the LGBTQ community. Harris acknowledged Varadkar’s influential position as an openly LGBTQ leader on the global platform.

Kamala Harris expressed the significance of witnessing Mr. Barrett and you on the global platform, highlighting the ongoing journey towards progress.

Leo Varadkar commended President Biden for his endorsement of same-sex marriage in 2012, recalling the memorable “Meet the Press” interview where Biden took the lead in announcing his support before President Obama had the chance.

During Varadkar’s visit, there were underlying tensions regarding Israel and Gaza. However, the atmosphere at the residence was light-hearted and filled with humor. In her remarks, Harris amusingly mentioned that she and Emhoff had decided to make the Taoiseach and Barrett their “new couple friends” after their previous visit, which garnered a hearty laugh from everyone present.

Varadkar also acknowledged the challenges that come with the position of the second-in-command in the government. He made a lighthearted remark, stating that after serving as both deputy prime minister and prime minister, he definitely has a preference. “I’m not going to lie, I know which one I prefer,” he jokingly mentioned.

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