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Minister Flanagan set for US visit

Charlie Flanagan is set to hit the USA
Charlie Flanagan is set to hit the USA

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan will visit Washington DC next week for the first time since Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States.

The Portlaoise-based TD will fly out on Tuesday for a three-day visit and a series of meetings on Capitol Hill.

Among those he will be meeting will be Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, as well as Congressmen Peter King, Joe Crowley, Richie Neal and Kevin McCarthy, who is the Republican Majority leader.

He will also meet Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the Irish-American Caucus and a range of business contacts drawn from a cross section of major US multi-national companies who have an interest in Ireland.

“I want to hear their views on what the Trump administration may mean for issues like taxation and repatriation of profits,” Minister Flanagan told LaoisToday this morning.

“Issues for discussion will be Irish-USA relations, an update on Brexit and the likely consequences for Ireland and of course Northern Ireland.

“American support has been vital to the peace process. I’ll be discussing with Senator Richard Hass, Senator George Mitchell and Senator Gary Hart the importance of the American influence in Northern Ireland.”

Minister Flanagan confirmed that he’ll also be bringing up the issue of the undocumented Irish in the USA.

“I have met undocumented Laois people living in New York and Boston and I share the need to have the matter regulated but understand their anxieties now with the new administration.”

Minister Flanagan will also be interviewed on Bloomberg TV during his visit.

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Steven Miller is owner and managing editor of LaoisToday.ie. Husband of Emily, father of William, Lillian and John, he's happiest when he's telling stories