Category: US Politics / March 19, 2013 2:35 PM EDT
U.S. President Barack Obama welcomed Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny to the White House on Tuesday (March 19), continuing an annual tradition bringing the U.S. and Irish leaders together to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and recognize bilateral relations between the two countries.
"We cherish this opportunity once a year to reaffirm the incredible bond between the United States and Ireland. This year, it also gives us an excuse to stretch out St. Patrick's Day for a couple of extra days which is always good," Obama said, acknowledging that this year's celebrate took place two days after the actual holiday.
Obama stressed economic ties between the U.S. and Ireland, and highlighted reports of a deal between Irish airline Ryanair and U.S. aircraft manufacturer Boeing.
Thanking Obama, Kenny acknowledged the close connection between the two nations, and invited the U.S. leader back to visit Ireland.
"Could I say that it is a particular privilege to be able to come to the White House to visit President Obama to continue this wonderful tradition that the American governments over the years have shown to Ireland because of the particular and unique relationship between our two countries covering many centuries," Kenny said.
After meeting in the Oval Office of the White House, Obama and Kenny planned to attend a St. Patrick's Day lunch at the U.S. Capitol and later participate in the shamrock ceremony, a tradition started under President Harry Truman, during an evening reception at the White House.
Video Source: Reuters