London, Thanasis Gavos

US President Joe Biden will pay a four-day visit to the island of Ireland from Tuesday evening, on the occasion of yesterday’s 25th anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday peace agreement in Northern Ireland.

The American leader will land in Belfast tonight. He will be met at the airport by UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, with the two leaders set to meet on Wednesday. In the early afternoon of the same day, President Biden will speak at Ulster University in the Northern Irish capital, before departing for the Republic of Ireland.

There he will address parliament and visit the areas where his ancestors came from, in counties Mayo and Louth.

In the town of Ballina, County Mayo, he will even address the local cathedral, where in 1827 his ancestor Edward Blewitt had sold 27,000 bricks for its construction. In 1851 Blewitt immigrated to the US with his family.

The American President will also have meetings with the President of the Republic of Ireland Michael Higgins and Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and will attend an official dinner in Dublin Castle. He will leave for the US late on Friday.

Mr Biden’s primary concern is to encourage the smooth resumption of devolved executive and legislative power in Northern Ireland, which has been suspended since February 2022. At the time, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) had pulled out of the coalition government provided for in the peace deal, reacting in the Northern Ireland Protocol that accompanied the Brexit deal.

To this end he will meet with the leaders of the five largest Northern Irish parties.

The visit comes a day after fresh incidents broke out in Northern Ireland, with republican protesters throwing Molotov cocktails at police in Londonderry.

Meanwhile, in a phone call with King Charles on Monday, President Biden informed him that the coronation ceremony on May 6 will be attended by First Lady Jill Biden alone as the US representative.