Monday 18 December 2017

Obama warns of 'volatility in the electoral process' during his final meeting with Enda Kenny in the White House

President Barack Obama greetsEnda Kenny during their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Barack Obama greetsEnda Kenny during their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

US President Barrack Obama warned of “volatility in the electoral process” after the recent general election in Ireland during his final meeting with Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny in the White House.

Speaking in the Oval Office, Mr Obama praised Mr Kenny for the progress he has made on restoring the Irish economy which the president was in “dire straits” when the Fine Gael leader took office.

“Taoiseach Kenny, when he first came into office, Ireland was in dire straits economically.  And we’ve seen significant progress in the rebound of the Irish economy.  Much as here in the United States, we’ve seen a strong recovery, but we also are aware that a lot more work needs to be done,” he said.

“There was just an election in Ireland, and we live at a time when there’s a lot of volatility in the electoral process.  But the one thing that is constant is the importance of us continuing to trade, continuing to encourage investment, and to boost jobs and opportunity in our respective countries,” he added.

He also praised Ireland for “punching above its weight” when it comes to providing humanitarian assistance to areas affected by wars or where people have been displaced.

During a private meeting, Mr Obama and Mr Kenny also discussed the forthcoming referendum in Britain on leaving the European Union and also the Fresh Start Agreement in Northern Ireland.

Mr Kenny said Ireland “strongly favours” Britain remaining a member of the European Union.

“And I think the President was interested in the challenges that Prime Minister Cameron faces both internally and externally, and I’ve given him an account of the workings of the European Council in bringing about the proposition that Prime Minister Cameron could actually put a referendum to his people,” he added.

Mr Kenny also briefed the President on this week’s crunch European Council meeting to deal with the issues of migration.

Online Editors

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