US Vice President Biden jokes to President Michael D Higgins: 'I have no credentials'
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.
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."
Vice President Joe Biden quoted JFK in the Áras an Uachtaráin visitors book: pic.twitter.com/YSjWhMSTEl— President of Ireland (@PresidentIRL) June 22, 2016
Mr Higgins replied: "We'll talk about that later."
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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.