Taoiseach to meet with Prime Minister ahead of Queen's funeral

Taoiseach to meet with Prime Minister ahead of Queen's funeral

TAOISEACH MICHEÁL Martin will meet the new British Prime Minister in London this weekend ahead of the state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II.

He will meet Liz Truss at Downing Street on Sunday, where it is expected the Northern Ireland Protocol will be discussed.

He met Ms Truss in Northern Ireland earlier this week, when they attended a Service of Reflection for the queen at St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast during the visit of King Charles.

Also on Sunday, Ms Truss will meet US President Joe Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Polish President Andrzej Duda.

Ms Truss has met Mr Biden as foreign secretary but this will be their first meeting since she became prime minister.

It will take place against a backdrop of disputes over the Northern Ireland Protocol and difficulties working towards a trade deal with the White House.

Ms Truss and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen are also understood to be arranging a meeting while both attend the UN summit, where they are expected to discuss the dispute between the UK and the EU over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

On Saturday, Ms Truss will meet privately with her counterparts from Australia and New Zealand, Anthony Albanese and Jacinda Ardern, at the government's Chevening country residence, a No 10 spokesperson said.

Around 500 dignitaries from around the world, including President Michael D Higgins, are expected in London for the state funeral, in what is set to be one of the biggest logistical and diplomatic events in the UK in decades.

Germany's President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Italy's President Sergio Mattarella and Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro are among those attending.

Invitations to the queen's funeral have not been sent to Russia or Belarus against the backdrop of the invasion of Ukraine. Taliban-ruled Afghanistan has also been excluded, as has Syria and Myanmar.

The seating plan is yet to be finalised.