Police in Northern Ireland boost security for historic Biden visit
Belfast, UK, Apr 11 (EFE).- Police in Northern Ireland were deploying increased security measures ahead of a major visit by the United States president Joe Biden to the country that begins on Tuesday.
Biden was traveling to Northern Ireland to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement which ended a decades-long violent sectarian conflict, known as the Troubles.
“Twenty-five years ago, Northern Ireland’s leaders chose peace,” Biden wrote on Twitter ahead of his departure.
“I look forward to marking the anniversary in Belfast, underscoring the US commitment to preserving peace and encouraging prosperity,” he added.
The US president, who is due to land on Tuesday evening, will be met at Belfast Airport by the prime minister of the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak.
Northern Irish police have cordoned off several areas in downtown Belfast and increased the number of officers patrolling the streets, with additional personnel also brought in from other parts of the UK.
The security measures will be in place until Wednesday at noon, when Biden will travel to Dublin, in the Republic of Ireland.
Biden’s visit comes amid heightened tensions in Northern Ireland, where a power-sharing governing agreement between Irish nationalists – who favor an independent, united Ireland – and unionists – who want to remain part of the UK – has been suspended for more than a year over trade rules stemming from Brexit.
One of the pillars of the Good Friday Agreement was clear and open borders between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which has been complicated by the return of border checks caused by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
The Democratic Unionist Party has refused to sign off on the formation of a new government until all trade barriers between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK are removed. EFE