US President-elect Joe Biden used his first phone call with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday afternoon to voice his concerns about the impact of Brexit on peace in Northern Ireland.
During the approximately 20-minute conversation, Biden reiterated his support for the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which ended decades of violence between pro-Irish Catholics and pro-British Protestants.
A British official confirms that Biden, whose family has Irish roots, was citing the Good Friday agreement regarding the Brexit negotiations. Johnson responded by promising the president-to-be that the United Kingdom will uphold the peace deal.
Later, when Biden spoke to Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin on the phone, he also emphasized to him the importance he attaches to peace in Northern Ireland.
The exchange between Biden and Johnson marks a somewhat awkward beginning of a new chapter in the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom.
Biden is known to be an outspoken opponent of Brexit. President Donald Trump, who is still sitting, is considered a strong supporter of the British exit from the European Union.
A British official said the telephone conversation between Biden and Johnson was conducted in a friendly tone and good atmosphere. The UK has always insisted that it does not want to jeopardize peace in Northern Ireland and to ensure stability in the region.