Rishi Sunak will welcome President Joe Biden when he arrives in Belfast this week, pledging to fulfil the promise of the Good Friday Agreement as they mark its 25th anniversary and talking of a “better future” for Northern Ireland.
The US president’s visit comes amid a heightened terror threat in Northern Ireland, and with power-sharing in Stormont still on hold because of post-Brexit tensions.
In a statement released by Downing Street, Mr Sunak said the signing of the Good Friday Agreement was an “incredible moment” in the UK’s history.
The agreement ended the 30-year conflict in Northern Ireland which claimed more than 3,500 lives.
The Good Friday Agreement 25 years on
“It was a powerfully rare example of people doing the previously unthinkable to create a better future for Northern Ireland,” the prime minister said.
“It is that promise of a better future that we offered to everyone in Northern Ireland that I will be thinking of first and foremost over the coming days.
“It is my responsibility as the prime minister of the United Kingdom to ensure we are making good on that promise.”
Mr Sunak was “relentlessly focused” on delivering economic growth in Northern Ireland, which he said is crucial to improving living standards, the statement added.
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Mr Biden, who will arrive in Air Force One on Tuesday evening, is intensely proud of his Irish heritage and the US’s role in the peace accord.
He will give a key address at Ulster University’s newly opened campus on Wednesday and will have a formal meeting with the prime minister.
Mr Sunak is expected to use the visit to drum up long-term investment for the nation.
A major policing operation costing around £7m and backed up by around 300 officers will be under way around the anniversary, after the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) warned of the potential of dissident republicans launching attacks.
MI5 recently raised the terrorism threat level in Northern Ireland to severe, meaning an attack is highly likely.
Mr Biden will leave Northern Ireland on Wednesday for the Republic, where he will visit Dublin, Co Louth and Co Mayo.