Northern Ireland news

Arlene Foster to visit Washington DC ahead of St Patrick's Day

Arlene Foster is set to visit Washington DC and there is speculation she could meet with US president Donald Trump 

DUP leader Arlene Foster is scheduled to travel to the US ahead of St Patrick's Day.

The former first minister is expected to travel to Washington DC on March 13.

During her visit, Mrs Foster will attend a breakfast at the Northern Ireland Bureau and the speaker's lunch on Capitol Hill.

She is also is expected to meet State Department officials and diplomats during her visit. It is unclear whether the DUP leader or her other Stormont counterparts have received an invitation to meet President Donald Trump.

The Fermanagh-South Tyrone MLA is expected to return to the north before St Patrick's Day.

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A DUP spokesman said America was "incredibly important for Northern Ireland", politically and economically.

"It is also important that a unionist voice is heard in Washington," the spokesman said.

"It is a perfect opportunity to speak with key influencers and ensure that US public representatives hear an alternative narrative to that put forward by the Friends of Sinn Féin lobby."

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Last year, DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds travelled to the US ahead of the St Patrick's Day celebrations.

Stormont's other parties have yet to reveal their plans.

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