US President Joe Biden will deliver remarks during the Friends of Ireland luncheon in Washington, DC today, Friday, March 15.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will attend the annual Friends of Ireland luncheon, which is being hosted by the Speaker of the House Mike Johnson on Friday afternoon.

A live stream of the Friends of Ireland luncheon is being provided by The White House with coverage beginning at 1:20 pm EST:

Earlier on Friday, Varadkar attended a breakfast at the Naval Observatory hosted by Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff.

The PA reports that Varadkar praised Harris for her recent call for a ceasefire: "I believe you, Madam Vice President, showed great courage and leadership in recent weeks, when you spoke publicly in favour of a ceasefire in Gaza.

“I’m sure it can’t have been easy, but it was the right thing to do, and your words echoed all over the world.”

Varadkar said that the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza “will haunt us all for years to come."

He said: “In Ireland, we know how quickly atrocities can lead to calls for vengeance, to creating new cycles of hatred and bitterness. But we also know that the cycle can be broken, and that new hope can replace old hatreds.

“The United States helped us to find peace, now let us work together to build just and lasting peace in the Middle East for Israel, Palestine, and its Arab neighbors.

“We know from our own story that finding peace can be a long and painful process, and it takes time to build trust and build relationships.

"American politicians on both sides of the aisle helped to encourage and nurture these relationships in Northern Ireland over many decades, and we thank you all so much for that.”

After the breakfast, Varadkar attended a bilateral meeting with Biden, where the two discussed the Irish-US relationship, the wars in Gaza and Ukraine, and the Good Friday agreement and peace in Northern Ireland.

Perhaps most notably, Biden agreed with Varadkar when the Taoiseach said he wants to see a ceasefire in Gaza.

Varadkar told Biden: "You'll know, my view [is] that we need to have a ceasefire as soon as possible to get food and medicine in ..."

Biden interjected: "I agree."

Varadkar continued: "...and to get hostages out.

"We need to talk about how we can make that happen and move toward a two-state solution, which I think is the only way we will have lasting peace and security."

Meanwhile, with Ireland and Northern Ireland's leading politicians in Washington, DC, activists from Amnesty International gathered at the US Consulate in Belfast and the American Embassy in Dublin on Friday, calling on President Biden to demand a permanent ceasefire.

At both events, campaigners raised a large banner calling on Biden to “Listen to his Irish Roots and Call for a Permanent Ceasefire."

Shamrocks were laid in front of the consulate and embassy buildings and letters from Amnesty urging immediate US action in support of a Gaza ceasefire were handed in to the embassy and consulate.

Today we demonstrated outside the US Embassy to call on President Biden to demand a permanent Gaza ceasefire.

With the Taoiseach making the annual St Patrick’s Day pilgrimage to the White House, we demand @POTUS listen to his Irish roots and call for a permanent ceasefire.

— Amnesty Ireland (@AmnestyIreland) March 15, 2024