Thursday, 19 September 2019

Questions (49)

Willie Penrose


49. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will visit the United States of America before the end of 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37979/19]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I am scheduled to travel to New York 22-25 September, in order to take part in high-level engagements around the opening of the 74th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly. I will, in particular, be advocating on behalf of Ireland’s candidature for the UN Security Council and will take part in a number of bilateral meetings with key contacts.

This will be the second time this year I have visited the US. I travelled there in February for a series of high-level political engagements at the UN, with the US Administration and with US Congressional figures. I also travelled to launch the Government’s new Strategy for the US and Canada. On that occasion, I visited New York and Washington, D.C.

In Ireland, I have also had a series of engagements with important US politicians throughout the year. In March, I met with Senator Chris Murphy, who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In April, I also met with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Richard Neal and hosted them at a series of engagements, on the occasion of a visit of the congressional delegation that they were leading. Most recently, I met with Vice President Pence during his visit to Ireland earlier this month.

In all my engagements with senior US officials and politicians, I made the case for continued strong and mutually beneficial Irish-US trade. I also briefed on Brexit and the effect that it will have on Ireland, north and south. I reiterated Irish immigration concerns with US contacts, highlighting the Government’s twin priorities of securing legal pathways for Irish emigration to the US and seeking relief for the undocumented Irish in the US.