Biden expresses concern over Belfast riots

Joe Biden, Stephen Barton

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says Vice President Joe Biden has told Northern Ireland’s power-sharing government he’s deeply concerned about violence related to an anti-Catholic march in Belfast.

Biden spoke Monday with First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness. The White House says Biden called for calm after Protestant riots Saturday over a blocked march left 32 police officers, a senior lawmaker and at least eight rioters wounded.

The White House says Biden also spoke to Richard Haass. He’s the Bush-era U.S. envoy to Northern Ireland who is overseeing a new round of talks to tackle difficult issues still dividing Catholics and Protestants 15 years after the 1998 peace agreement.

The White House says the U.S. supports Haass’ efforts and that Biden is staying in close touch with him.

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