German president welcomed to Ireland for three-day visit

German president welcomed to Ireland for three-day visit

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier inspects a Guard of Honour at Aras an Uachtarain, Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

Michael D Higgins has welcomed the German president to his Phoenix Park residence, marking the start of a three-day visit by Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

The German head of state arrived at Áras an Uachtarain for an official welcoming ceremony just after 11am.

He was greeted by the President and his wife Sabina Higgins and a guard of honour from the 7th Infantry Battalion from the Cathal Brugha Barracks.

Mr Steinmeier also received a 21-gun salute from the defence forces.

German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier takes part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Garden of Remembrance, Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

The German president later visited the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin city centre as part of the state visit, where he was greeted by Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney.

Mr Steinmeier stood beside Mr Coveney as a wreath, adorned with a ribbon in the colours of the German flag, was laid in the garden as part of a short ceremony.

The three-day visit will see Mr Steinmeier, who has been Germany’s president since 2017, visit several locations in Dublin and across the country.

Mr Steinmeier, who arrived with his wife Elke Budenbender and an official delegation, held talks with Taoiseach Micheál Martin on Wednesday afternoon.

On Twitter, Mr Martin said: “We discussed the strong friendship between our two nations, our shared values, and our continued cooperation on the European stage.”

He will also meet with Dáil Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl, as well as the Lord Mayor of Dublin Alison Gilliland.

German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier (right) with President Michael D Higgins (Brian Lawless/PA)

The President visited Germany in July 2019.

That visit came amid uncertainty about Brexit and the shape of the UK’s exit from EU.

This presidential trip to Ireland will also include a visit to the University of Limerick, where Mr Steinmeier will meet with students.

The Irish and German delegations are expected to discuss issues around democracy and global justice.

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