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Biden, UK’s Truss commit to protect Northern Ireland deal

77th annual u.n. general assembly in new york
British Prime Minister Liz Truss and U.S. President Joe Biden hold a bilateral meeting as they attend the 77th U.N. General Assembly, in New York, U.S., September 21, 2022. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Pool

U.S. President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Liz Truss met in person for the first time on Wednesday and said they want to ensure the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland is protected.

Biden and Truss, meeting only days after the funeral of Queen Elizabeth, sat down for discussions on the fringes of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

“We both are committed to protecting the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland. I’m looking forward to hearing what’s on your mind and how we can continue to cooperate,” Biden told Truss ahead of their talks.

Truss told him: “And of course, I’m looking forward to discussing the Belfast Good Friday Agreement, and how we make sure that’s upheld into the future.”

Despite her assurances, the two leaders are trying to avoid tensions over Northern Ireland.

As a member of parliament, Truss introduced legislation to undo the Northern Ireland Protocol, which was part of Britain’s withdrawal agreement from the European Union. It prioritized protecting the Good Friday Agreement, or Belfast Agreement, for peace in the British-run region.

Biden has been insistent that Britain do nothing that could endanger a quarter century of peace in Northern Ireland.

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