Biden administration heralds 'start of a change in global politics', says Simon Coveney

Biden administration heralds 'start of a change in global politics', says Simon Coveney

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on climate change and green jobs, in the State Dining Room of the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

IRELAND'S Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney has said the Biden administration heralds "a start of a change in global politics".

Speaking to members of Cork Chamber at a virtual meeting earlier this week Mr Coveney said the new administration not only marks a change in US politics but also has the potential to create worldwide positive changes.

Mr Coveney said that while the Irish Government had a close relationship with the Trump White House, there were significant differences of opinion, particularly on foreign policy approaches.

"It’s my job to make sure that the Irish Government has a close relationship with Washington regardless of who’s in the White House and we did have a close relationship with the Trump administration.

"We disagreed with them on so many policy areas but on a personal level I was able to pick up the phone and speak to my counterpart in Washington at short notice and of course the Taoiseach has that privilege as well with the President.

"Ireland has an extraordinary amount of access into the White House and into the US administration broadly and we need to keep it that way regardless of who the US President is," he said.

"The opportunity with President Biden is I think in many foreign policy areas we actually share the same objectives as the US now.

"So on climate, the US is going to go from a country that really was a climate sceptic under the previous administration to now wanting to be a leader," he continued.

Mr Coveney said he believes the "right people" are now in place to make positive changes and gave the example of the newly appointed Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.

"He’s a fluent French speaker, he understands the European Union, is a big supporter of the European Union project per se as an example of multilateralism – I think we have the right people in place now to build a transatlantic relationship that I think can be, from an Irish perspective, can be very exciting, full of opportunities for business and investment but also, from a political perspective, can give leadership on big issues like making multilateralism work through the UN and other structures and on climate," he said.

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