Kenny in US

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny will meet US treasury secretary Timothy Geithner in Washington today as he attempts to rebuild Ireland’s reputation abroad.

Mr Kenny is in the US for the traditional St Patrick’s Day visit, and will meet President Barack Obama tomorrow for the customary shamrock ceremony.

But he will kick-start the visit today with a series of meetings focused heavily on trade and business.

Mr Kenny will first meet the Global Irish Network, which comprises senior business figures with Irish links whom the Government hopes will drive trade to Ireland.

He will also meet with his Economic Advisory Board, a team of senior US-based experts who provide analysis to the Taoiseach in a confidential capacity.

Mr Kenny will then address a business leaders’ lunch at which he will focus on the Government’s plans for recovery.

In the afternoon, he will meet with Mr Geithner for economic discussions.

This evening, Mr Kenny will address the American Ireland Fund “national gala” dinner, where he will emphasise the Government’s commitment to the relationship between the two countries.

The Taoiseach is also expected to meet with the leaders of the Northern Ireland Executive.

The most significant event of the two-day trip will, as always, be the meeting with the President in the White House, which will take place tomorrow.

After the meeting and the presentation of a bowl of shamrock, Mr Kenny will proceed to the annual Speaker’s Lunch on Capitol Hill, hosted by the new Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner.

Mr Kenny left for Washington last night after first taking Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil and participating in the debate on the Programme for Government.

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