Belfast Telegraph

Donald Trump announces plans to visit Ireland later this year

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar meeting President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington D.C. during his visit to the US. Photo credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar meeting President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington D.C. during his visit to the US. Photo credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

By Cormac McQuinn

US President Donald Trump has said he intends to visit Ireland this year.

Mr Trump met with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in the Oval Office on Thursday afternoon with Brexit high on the agenda for talks.

The US President said he was disappointed not to visit Ireland in 2018 and that he hopes to do so this year.

He said that he and Mr Varadkar are becoming "fast friends" and acknowledged the Taoiseach is in a "complicated position" due to Brexit.

Mr Trump also complained about how the European Union has treated the US in trade talks.

On his plans to visit Ireland Mr Trump said: "I'll be coming at some point during the year. I missed it last time but I would have loved to have been there. It's a special place."

He said he has a "very warm spot" for Doonbeg, where he owns a golf resort.

"It's just a great place," Mr Trump added.

Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office, the US President said the US will stay out of Britain's negotiations over Brexit.

But he criticised Prime Minister Theresa May's handling of the talks.

Mr Trump said he wants Brexit talks to work out but was surprised at how badly the negotiations have gone, adding that Mrs May did not listen to his suggestions on how to negotiate.

Mr Trump also said he did not think another vote on Brexit would be possible because it would be unfair, and reiterated that he would like to see a US trade deal with the UK after it leaves the EU.

Mr Varadkar said he looked forward to discussing Brexit with Mr Trump and that he would like to see a European trade deal with the United States.

Irish Independent

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