Obama congratulates new Irish PM



Obama congratulates new Irish PM Washington: US President Barack Obama congratulated Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny on Friday on taking up his new post, as the two men planned to meet at the White House on St Patrick's Day next week.

Obama told Kenny in a phone call that Ireland had strong support from the United States and the "two leaders expressed their commitment to strengthening the bond" between their nations, the White House said in a statement.

Kenny, who took up the reins of power in Ireland on Thursday, also accepted the US President's invitation to visit the White House on March 17 for the traditional St Patrick's Day celebrations.

"The two leaders look forward to continuing their discussion on events in Libya and other international and domestic issues during an Oval Office meeting planned for that day," the statement added.

Kenny, a 59-year-old former teacher, was elected on Wednesday by 117 votes to 27 by lawmakers in the Dail, or lower house of Parliament. He heads a coalition government of his centre-right Fine Gael party and centre-left Labour.

Bureau Report