Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar speaks out ahead of president’s November visit
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has vowed that his country will respect President Trump during his official visit to Ireland in November.
Despite disagreeing with many of Trump’s policies, Varadkar says the Irish government must treat the U.S. president’s office with the respect it deserves.
The PM spoke out in response to some smaller “resist” groups reportedly planning protests to coincide with POTUS’s visit.
The respectful welcoming of Donald Trump comes in stark contrast to the president’s official visit to London where protestors put on a shameful display of intolerance that was backed by Mayor Sadiq Khan.
Trump will travel to Ireland for the first time as president during a trip to Europe to attend a Nov. 11 commemoration in Paris of the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War One, the White House confirmed earlier this month.
The president’s decision to take up an open invitation to Ireland in November “came a little bit out of the blue,” said Varadkar, who as a minister was against extending an invitation to Trump before changing his mind when he became prime minister.
A number of smaller opposition parties have begun organizing protests to coincide with the visit.
“I know a lot of people dislike him, a lot of people object to him, a lot of people disagree with a lot of his policies, just as I do in fact,” Varadkar said in an interview with national broadcaster RTE late on Sunday.
“But he is the president of America and the relationship between Ireland and the United States is much more important than any Irish government or any U.S. administration and I think we have to treat his office with the respect that it deserves.”
Low tax Ireland is also a major beneficiary of investment by U.S. firms with almost 800 U.S.-based companies including major employers such as Google, Apple, and Pfizer accounting for around 7 percent of the country’s workforce.
Trump will visit his golf resort in the west coast village of Doonbeg as well as Dublin during the brief trip, Varadkar said.
The Irish Prime Minister will use an expected meeting with Trump to raise issues including trade, migration, human rights and Britain’s exit from the European Union which is set to hit Ireland harder than any other remaining EU member.
“As you know, he’s very supportive of Brexit and I once again want to explain to him why that’s not the right position either for America or for Europe,” said Varadkar, who met Trump in the White House in March.