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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Statement by the Press Secretary on the Upcoming Visit of Prime Minister Brian Cowen of Ireland

President Obama will welcome Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Brian Cowen of Ireland to the White House on Wednesday, March 17.  The United States and Ireland share strong bilateral relations, deep cultural ties, and a commitment to positive change in the world.  The President appreciates the personal contributions and steadfast support of the Taoiseach and U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown in support of the historic agreement achieved by Northern Ireland leaders today, which is an important step on the pathway to greater peace and prosperity for all communities on the island.  The President looks forward to commemorating his second St. Patrick’s Day in the White House with the Taoiseach, a celebration which serves as a reminder of the shared history and close kinship between our two countries.

The President will also greet First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness of Northern Ireland at the White House on March 17 and discuss their progress toward meeting their shared commitments.