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Kamala Harris to meet Northern Ireland leaders virtually on St Patrick's Day

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Vice President Kamala Harris speaks as President Joe Biden listens (Patrick Semansky/AP)

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks as President Joe Biden listens (Patrick Semansky/AP)

AP/PA Images

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks as President Joe Biden listens (Patrick Semansky/AP)

US Vice President Kamala Harris is expected to hold a virtual meeting with Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill today as Northern Ireland once again tops the St Patrick’s Day agenda.

It’s understood the three female leaders will speak after President Joe Biden holds his own remote online talk with Taoiseach Micheal Martin, the Irish Times reported.

Yesterday the US Senate brought forward a resolution calling for the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, stating that any new US-UK trade deal should be in line with the 1998 peace deal.

Mr Biden, who has family roots in Ireland, previously stated any future trade accord between the US and the UK depended on respecting the Agreement and preventing the return of a hard border.

Meanwhile, Mr Martin has pushed back against calls in the US for a referendum on Irish unity.

The Fianna Fail leader said that discussions which took place around Irish unity immediately after Brexit were “a mistake”, the Irish Times reported.

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Mr Martin said: “I think it is divisive and puts people back into trenches too early.

“My view is that I want to develop a shared dialogue, irrespective of one’s constitutional preferences.”

His comments come after a publicity and political campaign by Friends of Sinn Fein calling for a border poll was ramped up in the US.

Ads in newspapers said not calling a border poll would leave “a divided Ireland at the mercy of the British Government”.


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