Do not jeopardize the Irish peace By Reuters
By Steve Holland and Guy Faulconbridge
CARBIS BAY, England (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden issues a serious Brexit warning during his first meeting with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson: to prevent a dispute with the European Union jeopardizing the delicate peace in Northern Ireland.
On his first overseas trip since taking office in January, Biden meets Johnson on Thursday in the English seaside resort of Carbis Bay ahead of a G7 summit Friday-Sunday, a NATO summit Monday, a United States summit. United-EU Tuesday and a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva the next day.
Biden will try to use the trip to spruce up his multilateral credentials after the uproar of Donald Trump’s presidency, which has left many US allies in Europe and Asia perplexed and some alienated.
Biden, however, brings an uncomfortable message to Johnson, one of the leaders of the 2016 Brexit campaign: Stop the heated divorce negotiations from the EU from undermining a peace deal brokered by the United States in 1998. , known as the Good Friday Agreement that ended three decades of bloodshed in Northern Ireland.
“President Biden has been very clear about his steadfast belief in the Good Friday Agreement as the foundation for peaceful coexistence in Northern Ireland,” White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters. aboard Air Force One.
“Any step that would endanger or undermine it would not be welcomed by the United States,” said Sullivan, who declined to characterize Johnson’s actions as endangering the peace.
Britain’s exit from the European Union has strained the peace in Northern Ireland to the breaking point because the 27-nation bloc wants to protect its markets, but a border in the Irish Sea cuts the British province of rest of UK. Northern Ireland shares a border with Ireland, a member of the EU.
Such is Biden’s concern over Northern Ireland that Yael Lempert, the top US diplomat in Britain, made a move to London – a formal diplomatic reprimand – for “igniting” tensions, the report said. Times newspaper.
Biden will also speak on Thursday about donating additional doses of COVID-19 vaccines to poor countries.
The 1998 peace accord largely ended the “Troubles” – three decades of conflict between Irish Catholic nationalist activists and pro-British Protestant “loyalist” paramilitaries who killed 3,600 people.
Biden, who is proud of his Irish heritage, will make a position statement on the importance of this peace deal, Sullivan said.
“He is not issuing threats or ultimatums, he is just going to convey his deep conviction that we must support and protect this protocol,” Sullivan said.
Although Britain officially left the EU in 2020, the two sides are still exchanging threats over the Brexit deal after London unilaterally delayed implementing the North Irish clauses of the deal.
The EU and Britain have attempted to solve the border conundrum with the Northern Ireland Protocol to the Brexit deal, which keeps the province in both UK customs territory and the UK. EU single market.
Pro-UK trade unionists claim the Brexit deal Johnson signed violates the 1998 peace deal and London has said the protocol was unsustainable in its current form after procurement of goods from current consumption in Northern Ireland has been discontinued.
Britain, home to a large Airbus facility, and the European Union hope to resolve an almost 17-year-old dispute with the United States over Boeing (NYSE 🙂 and Airbus aircraft subsidies.
US, UK and EU officials have expressed optimism that a settlement can be reached before July 11, when the currently suspended tariffs will come back into effect on all sides.
A source close to the negotiations said talks were progressing well, but a deal was unlikely to be reached before next week’s US-EU summit.