Biden voices support for Northern Ireland talks
WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden is throwing his support behind a new round of power-sharing talks in Northern Ireland.
Biden spoke with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny. He also held separate phone calls with Peter Robinson, the leader of Northern Ireland’s Catholic-Protestant government, and Robinson’s deputy, Martin McGuinness.
The White House says Biden discussed with the leaders the role that former U.S. Sen. Gary Hart can play in the talks. The Obama administration recently tapped Hart, a former Democratic presidential candidate, to be its newest envoy to Northern Ireland.
The talks started this month in Belfast amid low hopes of progress. But Biden says the U.S. is willing to help however possible. He says Hart is willing to play a direct role facilitating the talks.