Tuesday 15 October 2019

Private Pence meeting may allow 'frank discussion' says Varadkar

US Vice President Mike Pence. Photo: AP
US Vice President Mike Pence. Photo: AP

Philip Ryan in Washington DC

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he would prefer that his much-anticipated meeting with US President Mike Pence was not held behind in private.

However, Mr Varadkar said the private meeting may allow him have a “frank conversation” with Mr Pence.

The St Patrick’s Day breakfast meeting between the Taoiseach and the Vice President is traditionally open to the media and their comments can be reported to the public.

Mr Varadkar is one of very few openly gay world leaders and Mr Pence has been criticised for his views on marriage equality.

Speaking after his meeting with US President Trump, Mr Varadkar said he did not know why the media are not allowed attend the meeting.

“I don’t know, he was actually in the meeting here now and I’m going to meet him again over breakfast tomorrow, Mr Varadkar said

“I appreciate from a media point of view you’d like to be there and we’d like you to be there too but it’s their decision that it be closed.

“It allows us have maybe a frank conversation that we wouldn’t be able to have if the media was present,” he said.

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