President Barack Obama praises Taoiseach Enda Kenny for great leadership and says Irish economy making progress
US President Barack Obama has praised Taoiseach Enda Kenny for showing "great leadership" and says there is progress in the Irish economy.
Mr Kenny extended an invitation to Mr Obama to visit Ireland again.
Mr Obama and Mr Kenny are meeting in the Oval Office of The White House for the annual St Patrick's Day event.
Mr Obama also referred to the Ryanair deal with Boeing as an example of the business links between the countries.
"The Taoiseach has shown great leadership in difficult times in Ireland and we are seeing progress in the Irish economy. That's good for the US economy because we have a lot of trade, a lot of investment in Ireland," the President said.
"There is a story this morning about a deal between Ryanair and Boeing, which will be selling a lot of airplanes to Ireland. That's an example of how the progress made in Ireland benefits jobs and businesses here in the United States," he said.
Mr Obama said Ireland also "punches above its weight internationally" when it comes to humanitarian relief and peacekeeping.
The President said it was the fifth time to invite a Taoiseach to the Oval Office and recalled his trip to Ireland.