Wednesday 23 January 2019

Trump administration considers appointing envoy to Northern Ireland

Rex Tillerson (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)
Rex Tillerson (Jacquelyn Martin/AP) Newsdesk Newsdesk

The Trump administration is considering appointing a special envoy to Northern Ireland it has emerged.

The possibility arose at a meeting of the Tánaiste Simon Coveney and  US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson in Washington.

At the meeting, the Tánaiste and Secretary of State discussed the current impasse in Northern Ireland and the implications of Brexit.

The first special envoy - George Mitchell - was appointed in 1995.

Until Trump's inauguration as president Senator Gary Hart held the position but role has remained vacant under the Trump administration.

With ongoing political deadlock in the North continuing there have been renewed calls for the position to be filled.

Speaking after the meeting in Washington Mr Coveney said the US has a "valuable" role in Northern Ireland.

“The United States, has been instrumental in helping to broker peace in Northern Ireland and continues to provide valuable encouragement and support to the peace process," he said.

“I also underlined our determination that Brexit must not in any way undermine the peace process and the gains achieved by the Good Friday Agreement.

"I also expressed the view that Ireland would be in a position to play an enhanced role in transatlantic relations post-Brexit in light of our unique ties with the US.”

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