Saturday 1 October 2016

US Vice President Biden jokes to President Michael D Higgins: 'I have no credentials'

Kevin Doyle Group Political Editor

Published 22/06/2016 | 10:38

US Vice President Joe Biden waves goodbye as he leave Áras an Uachtaráin this morning as President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina look on.
Photo: Tony Gavin
US Vice President Joe Biden waves goodbye as he leave Áras an Uachtaráin this morning as President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina look on. Photo: Tony Gavin
US Vice President Joe Biden with President Michael D Higgins as he signs the visitors book in Áras an Uachtaráin this morning. Photo: Tony Gavin
US Vice President Joe Biden arrives with President Michael D Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin this morning. Photo: Tony Gavin
US Vice President Joe Biden with President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina as he leave Áras an Uachtaráin this morning. Photo: Tony Gavin
US Vice President Joe Biden waves goodby as he leave Áras an Uachtaráin this morning as President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina look on. Photo: Tony Gavin
US Vice President Joe Biden shares a joke with President Michael D Higgins as he signs the visitors book in Áras an Uachtaráin this morning. Photo: Tony Gavin
US Vice President Joe Biden shakes hands with President Michael D Higgins as he signs the visitors book in Áras an Uachtaráin this morning. Photo: Tony Gavin

US Vice President Joe Biden jokes with President Michael D Higgins that he had "no credentials" to present as they met in Aras an Uachtarain this morning.

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Under tight security Mr Biden made the short journey from the American Ambassador's residence in the Phoenix Park to the Aras at 9.30am.

In a jovial mode the Vice President told Mr Higgins he was delighted to be in Ireland and said his grandfather's family would have been proud to see him signing the guestbook in the Aras.

Mr Higgins explained that the State Reception Room where he signed the book with a JFK quote was normally used for new ambassadors to present their credentials, prompting Mr Biden to say: "I have no credentials." 

Mr Higgins replied: "We'll talk about that later." 

The two men held a private meeting for over 30 minutes, ending the formal element of the Vice President's six day visit to Ireland.

He is shortly due to fly from Dublin to Knock Airport from where he will begin a tour of Mayo that includes Taoiseach Enda Kenny's hometown of Castlebar, Westport and Castlebar.

In a statement issued after their meeting, Aras an Uachtarain said the discussion between Mr Higgins and Mr Biden included “Irish, European and current global affairs”.

“Among the issues that were discussed were the central importance of human rights to the political perspectives of both the President and the Vice President. Specifically, President Higgins commended Vice President Biden’s work on the elimination of all forms of violence against women.

“The two leaders further discussed the current issues facing the European Union and the current position in relation to the peace process in Northern Ireland. The present position of the discussion and advocacy in relation to the legislative process regarding out of status Irish in the United States was discussed,” the statement said.

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