President Barack Obama has extended an invite to Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Brian Cowen to hold a meeting on St. Patrick’s Day at the White House.

In keeping with tradition, Obama extended an invitation to Cowen as well as First Minister of Northern Ireland Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness to share the Irish holiday with the president.

Traditionally, each St. Patrick’s Day leaders from the U.S. and Ireland meet to discuss matters pertaining to Ireland and keep the ties between both countries strong.

Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs said last Friday that the president appreciated the way in which Cowen had worked with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown during the recent talks in the North.

“The president appreciates the personal contributions and steadfast support of the taoiseach and U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown in support of the historic agreement achieved by Northern Ireland leaders today, which is an important step on the pathway to greater peace and prosperity for all communities on the island,” a White House statement said.

“The president looks forward to commemorating his second St Patrick’s Day in the White House with the taoiseach, a celebration which serves as a reminder of the shared history and close kinship between our two countries.”