Taoiseach Simon Harris spoke with US President Joe Biden on Monday evening, June 17.

President Biden started by congratulating Simon Harris on becoming Taoiseach, the Department of the Taoiseach said on Monday.

They spoke about power-sharing in Northern Ireland, the institutions of the Good Friday Agreement, and the ongoing work of the US Special Envoy to Northern Ireland for Economic Affairs, Joe Kennedy.

They discussed the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, the need for an immediate ceasefire, for all hostages to be released, and for aid to flow freely.

The Taoiseach briefed President Biden on the Ukraine Peace Summit held in Switzerland over the weekend and his conversation there with US Vice President Kamala Harris.

President Biden told the Taoiseach that the United States would continue to support Ukraine and that the world must stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes.

The Taoiseach and President Biden discussed the deep and growing economic ties between Ireland and the United States and Simon Harris also thanked the President for his enduring friendship to Ireland.

He wished President Biden and the American people well.

This evening I had a phone call with @POTUS.
We discussed the need for an immediate ceasefire in the Middle East, the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the recent summit on Ukraine, the reestablishment of the Northern Ireland institutions & our bilateral economic relationship. pic.twitter.com/VAVHT8qeuG

— Simon Harris TD (@SimonHarrisTD) June 17, 2024

Monday evening was the first call between the two leaders since Harris became Taoiseach on April 9 following Leo Varadkar's surprise resignation in March.

After Varadkar's resignation and before Harris officially became Taoiseach, Biden called Varadkar to wish him well in the wake of his resignation as Taoiseach and leader of Fine Gael. Varadkar, in turn, wished Biden good luck in November for the 2024 US Presidential election.

Notably, Harris and Biden's call on Monday comes after Ireland, in concert with Spain and Norway, moved to formally recognize the State of Palestine. Including Ireland, Spain, and Norway, 145 out of the 193 UN member states have now recognized a Palestinian state. The US is not among them.

While the Irish and American approaches to the war in Gaza have been starkly different, Harris did signal his support for Biden's announcement of a three-phased proposal to deliver a ceasefire in Gaza earlier this month.

"I have long called for an immediate ceasefire, the release of all hostages, and unimpeded access for aid into Gaza," Harris said in a statement on June 1.

"Now after almost eight months of conflict and suffering, there is a plan on the table that can move us closer to securing those goals and that can help create space to build a just and lasting peace and two-state solution.

"I call on all parties to give the plan presented by President Biden serious and positive consideration.

"This is an opportunity that should not be missed.

"It is long past time for the suffering to end."