July 29, 2019 / 8:14 AM / 21 days ago

Irish government does not see lack of Johnson call as snub: minister

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures during a speech on domestic priorities at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, Britain July 27, 2019. Lorne Campbell/Pool via REUTERS

DUBLIN (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s failure to call his Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar for almost a week after his appointment is not a calculated snub and the two are likely to engage at the earliest opportunity, an Irish minister said on Monday.

Varadkar congratulated Johnson on his election as Conservative Party leader last Tuesday in a Twitter post, but a day later said in an interview that Johnson’s demand for a new EU withdrawal deal was “not in the real world”.

“The UK is our nearest neighbour ... We will overcome the challenges of Brexit and remain on cordial terms with our nearest neighbour. That is an absolute imperative,” Agriculture Minister Michael Creed told RTE radio, adding he did not believe Varadkar had been snubbed.

“There will be engagement between the Taoiseach (prime minister) and Boris Johnson at the earliest possible stage and I have no doubt engagements are going on behind the scenes for that to happen.”

Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Catherine Evans

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