Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Higgins hails re-elected Obama

President Michael D Higgins congratulated US counterpart Barack Obama on his re-election (AP)

Irish President Michael D Higgins has told his newly re-elected US counterpart Barack Obama he hopes bilateral relations between the countries will prosper during his second term in office.

In a letter of congratulations to the US president, Mr Higgins assured Mr Obama he has the continued goodwill and best wishes of the people of Ireland. Mr Obama, who visited Dublin and his ancestral home in Moneygall last year, defeated Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

"The international community faces many daunting challenges and we look forward to your continued leadership and constructive engagement in the period ahead," wrote Mr Higgins, a human rights campaigner.

"The very close and warm relationship between Ireland and the United States has, with your help and encouragement, prospered during your tenure. I am confident that, under your leadership, our bilateral relations will be further advanced during the next four years."

Taoiseach Enda Kenny added his congratulations and sent a letter to President Obama and Vice-president Joe Biden on behalf of the Irish people.

"Our countries enjoy an especially warm and friendly relationship. This has been strongly reflected during President Obama's first term of office, never more so than during his wonderful visit to Ireland last year," Mr Kenny said.

"I am confident that the relationship between our two countries will continue to flourish during his coming term of office, as our administrations continue to work together across a range of policy areas in our respective efforts to boost our economies, increase trade and investment, and create new and sustainable jobs," he said.

The nationwide popular vote remained extremely close with Mr Obama taking about 50% to 49% for Mr Romney. However, America's first black president secured the 270 votes in the electoral college needed to win the race.

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore said Mr Obama was a good friend of Ireland.

Elsewhere Moneygall native Henry Healy said he was delighted for his eighth cousin, whom he also visited at the White House for St Patrick's Day. He said Mr Obama had got a resounding 'Yes' from the American people to continue the progress that he has been making.

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