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A Trump Visit to Ireland Is Now Up in the Air

Category: Diplomatic Relations,Politics

DUBLIN — Irish officials were surprised two weeks ago to learn that President Trump planned to stop by their country in November when he visited France.

On Tuesday, they were surprised to learn that he might not.

By the end of the day, no one seemed quite certain whether they should be readying for a presidential visit or carrying on with their normal course of business.

Early Tuesday, the Irish prime minister’s office said the visit had been postponed “for scheduling reasons.” The announcement came after some confusion in which the Irish government appeared caught off guard by news reports that it had been canceled. Initially, it was unable to confirm or deny the reports.

The Irish government had no information as to why the visit has been put off — if, indeed, it has been. The Foreign Ministry referred reporters seeking more information to the White House.

But in Washington, little information was to be had. Officials there confirmed only that the Paris leg of Mr. Trump’s trip was still on.

“The president will travel to Paris in November as previously announced,” the White House spokeswoman, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, told reporters. “We are still finalizing whether Ireland will be a stop on that trip. As details are confirmed we will let you know.”

Mr. Trump had been expected to visit Ireland either before or after a trip to Paris to attend a military parade commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the end of World War I. When the visit was announced by the White House, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar of Ireland told state radio it had come “a little bit out of the blue.”

Mr. Trump was expected to pay a brief visit to Dublin en route to his golf resort in Doonbeg, in the west of Ireland.

Even before reports emerged that the visit was off, The Irish Times, citing “senior sources” in government, reported that the itinerary had shifted repeatedly since it was announced on Aug. 31. The first indications that it might not go ahead were received only on Tuesday morning, the newspaper reported.

Peter Baker contributed reporting from Washington.


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