Saturday 17 March 2018

Varadkar talks to Marcon, Merkel and May

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar waves to TDs and well wishers at Leinster House. Photo: Getty
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar waves to TDs and well wishers at Leinster House. Photo: Getty
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

New Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has spoken on the phone with French President Emmanuel Macron, the Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel, and British Prime Minister Theresa May.

President Macron and Mr Varadkar spoke about working together to advance the EU reform agenda, noting that there were many areas of common interest between Ireland and France

“They looked forward to seeing each other at the European Council in Brussels next week and agreed to explore options for an early bilateral meeting,” a spokesperson for the Taoiseach said.

Chancellor Merkel discussed the Northern Ireland talks and spoke about the renewed closeness of relations between Germany and France being a positive force for the future of the EU.

They also discussed Brexit, and agreed to meet for more substantive discussions in Brussels next week.

During his call with Theresa May, Mr Varadkar extended the Government’s sympathies on tragic tower block inferno in London.

Both leaders reiterated the shared objectives of avoiding a hard border, maintaining the common travel area and supporting the Good Friday Agreement. 

They also discussed the ongoing political discussions in London and in Belfast, agreeing on the need to have the Northern Ireland Executive up and running as quickly as possible, and they discussed Brexit. 

“They noted they would each be meeting with the Northern Ireland parties over coming days and agreed that the Taoiseach would meet with the Prime Minister in the very near future to continue their discussions,” the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his congratulations to Mr Varadkar, whose father is a native of India.

“I look forward to working with Taoiseach Varadkar to further strengthen India-Ireland relations,” Mr Modi said.

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