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Thursday 21 June 2018

Taoiseach will invite Trump to Ireland in show of 'hospitality'

President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will invite US President Donald Trump to Ireland when the pair meet today.

Mr Varadkar also said he will congratulate Mr Trump on emulating Ireland's tax system.

In February last year -when Mr Varadkar was social protection minister and an invitation was first mooted - he insisted he wouldn't invite Mr Trump if it was his decision, and said he wasn't sure what purpose an invite would serve.

However, speaking in Washington yesterday, the Taoiseach confirmed he will talk to Mr Trump about a visit during their meeting today.

"The invitation that taoiseach Enda Kenny made to Donald Trump last year stands," he said.

"Donald Trump has invited me to Washington DC.

"He has invited me to his house and I think it is just normal hospitality that when someone invites you their house and their country that you reciprocate the invitation.

"I'm not into golf so I won't be playing golf with him if he comes to Doonbeg but perhaps it will be an opportunity for him to potentially visit some of the Irish companies that invest in the US."

He also indicated the US president would want to visit the Border region, having spoken to him about it during a brief phone call shortly after Mr Varadkar became Taoiseach.

"I know that's something he expressed an interest in when we spoke on the phone some months ago," Mr Varadkar said.

The Taoiseach said there had been no indication from the White House on whether Mr Trump plans to take up the existing offer.

Populous

Mr Trump visited California - the most populous state in the United States - for the first time as president only this week, some 14 months since he was inaugurated.

Mr Varadkar was speaking after meeting with the US Chamber of Commerce, the organisation that represents American employers and industry.

The Irish delegation had a round-table discussion with major firms investing in Ireland including Allergen, Intel and Boeing, and with some financial institutions who are moving to Ireland because of Brexit, including Bank of America and Merrill Lynch.

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