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    Taoiseach discusses US-Irish relations, immigration reform, North, economy with US delegation

    By Noreen Bowden | June 30, 2009

    The Taoiseach held talks yesterday with the visiting US Congressional delegation led by Richie Neal, Chair of the Friends of Ireland.

    Also on the delegation are:

    • Rep Tim Murphy, from Pennsylvania
    • Rep Donald Payne, from New Jersey
    • Rep Luis Gutierrez, from Illinois
    • Rep Mike Doyle, from Pennsylvania
    • Rep Tim Holden, from Pennsylvania
    • Rep Nydia Velazquez, from NYC

    The Taoiseach’s press office said in a press release:

    The Taoiseach reiterated the priority he has placed on Ireland’s relationship with the United States and looked forward to the further development of that relationship with the implementation of the recommendations of Strategic Review of Ireland-US Relations which he launched on his St Patrick’s Day visit to the US. He stressed the importance of human interaction across the Atlantic and the need to develop all opportunities to enable Irish and US citizens to visit, work and study in each others countries.

    There was also a lengthy discussion of the prospects for immigration reform in the US and its implications for Irish citizens, including the Irish undocumented community (Reps. Gutierrez and Velazquez have been very active in the campaign for immigration reform and recently attended a bipartisan meeting with President Obama on the topic – see ).

    The Taoiseach briefed the delegation on recent progress in Northern Ireland. He particularly welcomed the announcements of loyalist decommissioning. There was a discussion on how the US can continue to make a contribution to the peace process, including by assisting with economic development and as a strong example of how a varied, multicultural society can integrate and work together for the greater good.

    There was also a discussion on the economic situation. The delegation updated the Taoiseach on the economic reform programme in the US, including tax refrom, while the Taoiseach responded by emphasising the Government’s strong commitment to supporting US businesses in Ireland and the transatlantic trading relationship.

    See the press release on the Taoiseach’s website.

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