Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)– Today marks the first celebration of St. Patrick’s Day at the White House since President Barack Obama and the Taoiseach Brian Cowen, T.D. took office.
This morning the Taoiseach Brian Cowen T.D. will attend a 40 minute bilateral meeting with the President in the Oval Office. The Taoiseach’s meeting with the new President will only be the third bilateral meeting for any foreign leader since his inauguration.
The talks between the President and the Taoiseach are expected to focus on the global economic crisis, as well as recent developments in Northern Ireland and bilateral relations between Ireland and the United States.
The Taoiseach will then present the President with the gift of shamrock in a Waterford Crystal bowl, to symbolise the friendship and deep ties between Ireland and the United States.
The focus on Ireland will continue as the Taoiseach is honoured at the Speaker’s St Patrick’s Day lunch on Capitol Hill, hosted by the Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi. This will be attended by President Obama and senior US senators and congressmen.
Later in the afternoon the Taoiseach and Minister for Foreign Affairs Mícheál Martin will meet with the Ireland America Economic Advisory Board.
The St Patricks Day celebrations will conclude with a reception hosted by the President and Mrs Obama at the White House in honour of the Taoiseach and Mrs. Cowen. This is the first reception of this kind for a foreign leader at the White House under the new Administration.