Ireland’s Kenny to Go Ahead With St Patrick’s Day Trump Visit

  • Says it’s important he meets president to discuss policy
  • May confirms she’s not withdrawing invitation for state visit

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said he’ll attend a traditional St. Patrick’s Day visit to President Donald Trump in the White House, shrugging off calls to boycott the meeting in protest of the controversial U.S. travel ban.

“It’s really important that I be able to say face-to-face to the president the issues that are of importance to us,” Kenny said at a joint news conference in Dublin on Monday with U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May.

He added that while he disagrees with Trump’s immigration policy, he has to go to Washington to speak for Irish citizens living in America, including about 50,000 undocumented immigrants. In London, there was a demonstration outside May’s Downing Street office and an emergency debate in Parliament on the ban that targets seven majority Muslim nations.

Trump’s executive order has caused problems for governments trying to get close to the new president while trying not to anger voters at home. More than 1 million people have signed a petition in the U.K. calling on May to rescind an invitation to Trump to make a state visit this year. She said she isn’t going to change course. “That invitation stands,” she said.

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