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Ireland's first gay prime minister Leo Varadkar formally elected

21 Juin 2017

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday congratulated Leo Varadkar on becoming Ireland's Prime Minister and said he looked forward to working with him to enhance relations between the two countries.

Leo Varadkar, the right-wing son of an immigrant Indian doctor, is set to be confirmed as Ireland's youngest and first gay premier during a vote in Dublin's parliament.

"They noted they would each be meeting with the Northern Ireland parties over coming days and agreed that the Taoiseach would meet with the Prime Minister in the very near future to continue their discussions", the spokesperson said.

In a move created to heal any divisions in his own party, Varadkar on Tuesday appointed the man he defeated, Simon Coveney, as deputy leader of Fine Gael.

"For some politics is a bad word, but we've seen in some countries, and this one, that it can be a way to convince people that change is possible", Varadkar said.

The government I lead will be one of the new European center as we seek to build a republic of opportunity.

While global attention on Varadkar has been largely positive, in Ireland the former Minister for Social Protection received a more critical reception during the Fine Gael election, in part for a campaign he oversaw against welfare cheats during his time at the Department of Social Protection and for comments made during the election campaign in which he suggested he would represent people who get up early in the morning. He will announce his Cabinet later in the evening, Politico reported.

Russia says new US sanctions will not alter Moscow's course: RIA
The meeting with President Petro Poroshenko was originally described by the White House as a brief "drop-in". Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that the new sanctions will not affect Moscow's policy.

Varadkar won a Parliamentary vote 57-50, with 45 abstentions, BBC reported, and was formally elected to the post at a confirmation ceremony in Dublin.

Ministers also heard from Mr Varadkar exactly what he wants done in areas like Brexit, Northern Ireland, Health and housing.

Kenny was the longest standing Fine Gael taoiseach.

At 38 years of age, the openly gay Varadkar - the son of an Irish nurse and a doctor from India - becomes the youngest prime minister since independence from Britain in 1922.

Mr Varadkar said there is no greater honour for any Irish politician and was deeply honoured.

Varadkar takes the reins 10 years to the day he took his seat in Ireland's Parliament, a member of the center-right party when he was just 17.

Adams said of Varadkar's appointment: 'I think he is a decent man.

Ireland's first gay prime minister Leo Varadkar formally elected