Northern Ireland on agenda as Prime Minister and US meet at G20 talks

Rishi Sunak shakes hands with US President Joe Biden during a bilateral meeting at the G20 summit in Nusa Dua, Indonesia Credit: AP/Press Association Images

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and US President Joe Biden have restated their commitment to the Good Friday Agreement during their first in-person meeting.

The pair met at the G20 talks on Wednesday in Bali.

The pair were keen to talk about finding a resolution to the ongoing issues surrounding the Northern Ireland Protocol which led to the DUP pulling out of power sharing bringing about the collapse of the devolved government.

It was briefed that Mr Biden, who has made no secret of his pride for his Irish heritage, was concerned about the threat to the Northern Ireland peace process.

A Downing street spokesperson said: "The leaders affirmed their shared commitment to protecting the Good Friday Agreement.”

The leaders also discussed how they would work together to tackle other prevalent issues like the activity by Russia in Ukraine, climate change and stabilising the global economy.

In recent years, cross-Atlantic relations have been somewhat strained amid ongoing UK-EU tensions over post-Brexit arrangements in Northern Ireland.

The US president said: “We’ve already met with our fellow Nato and G7 leaders to address Russia’s latest missile strikes against Kyiv and Western Ukraine – it’s merciless.

“I mean it borders on — it’s way over the top.

“At the moment where world leaders meeting here in Bali are seeking progress on world peace, (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s striking civilian targets – children, and women. I mean, it’s just, It’s almost – in my words, not yours – barbaric.”

The Prime Minister responded: “And I’m glad to see that partnership in action doing good whether it’s standing up to – and I agree with your words – barbaric activity by Russia in Ukraine, but also tackling climate change, stabilising the global economy.”

The leaders highlighted that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is “directly responsible for precipitating global economic issues” in their bilateral meeting.

They agreed to work together, and with allies, to address the economic consequences of "Putin's brutality" and protect those countries who are most vulnerable.

The bilateral meeting came as Donald Trump announced his presidential candidacy for 2024.

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