Northern Ireland news

Stormont executive says US relationship important for Covid recovery

US envoy Mick Mulvaney with First Minister Arlene Foster and junior minister Declan Kearney

NORTHERN Ireland's relationship with the US will be important in boosting economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, Stormont ministers have said.

First Minister Arlene Foster and junior minister Declan Kearney met yesterday with US special envoy Mick Mulvaney during his week-long trip to Ireland and Britain.

Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill was unable to attend due to feeling unwell. The Sinn Féin deputy leader has tested negative for Covid-19.

Mr Mulvaney also met with representatives from the UUP, SDLP and Alliance.

Mrs Foster said it was a "pleasure to meet Mr Mulvaney for the first time formally in his role".

"The United States has long since recognised the strength of our people and the value of our skilled workforce," the DUP leader added.

"Our meeting afforded the chance to discuss, not just the challenges facing us in Northern Ireland, but the opportunities for trade and investment that will be crucial as we work to rebuild our economy."

Mr Kearney said the north's long-standing relationship with the US offered "huge potential".

"This is no doubt a turbulent time globally as we face the shared challenge of responding to, and recovering from, the Covid-19 pandemic," he said.

He said they also discussed the "additional challenges" resulting from Brexit.

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