Canada’s youthful Prime Minister Justin Trudeau continues to find new friends in recently-elected leaders in Europe.
Trudeau made headlines for his warm friendship with the new President of France Emmanuel Macron, but in his visit to Ireland he got on equally well with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who was elected last month.
Knowing his guest’s penchant for meaningful socks, the Irish Prime Minister, known as Taoiseach in Gaelic, was wearing bright red Canadian-themed socks with maple leaves and Canadian Mounties, outshining Trudeau’s subdued gray and white striped socks, which matched his suit.
Trudeau, who was recently spotted wearing rainbow-coloured socks reading “Eid Mubarak” during Toronto’s gay pride, which fell on the same day as the Muslim celebration ending the holy month of Ramadan, looked on delighted as his counterpart showed off the socks to the press.
As the first foreign leader to visit Ireland since Varadkar’s election in June, Trudeau was expected to discuss trade opportunities at a time when, as the Canadian prime minister remarked, “our significant allies and trading partners in the case of both the U.S. and the U.K. are turning inward or at least turning into a different direction.”
The two leaders also took the meeting as an opportunity to address another issue key to Trudeau’s government: feminism. When the Canadian Prime Minister was elected two years ago, he made sure to appoint a diverse, gender-balanced cabinet, answering a question about why this mattered with a simple “Because it’s 2015”.
Varadkar told the Irish press he sought advice from Trudeau on implementing gender equality in the Irish lower chamber, the Dáil, describing himself as a feminist.
“Diversity is about more than gender, but diversity in general leads to better decision-making and we should try to have a Government and parliament that looks like the country that it represents,” Varadkar said, as quoted in The Irish Examiner, “I did seek some advice from Justin on this because I am very impressed by the fact that he has a cabinet that is gender-balanced.”
Trudeau enjoyed Varadkar’s company as a running partner as well a political ally, as the two leaders went for a summer evening jog in Dublin’s Phoenix Park, where the Taoiseach’s residence is situated. “Nice pace,” Trudeau commented in his tweet, sharing a picture of the two running through a field, although this time it was Trudeau who showed some patriotic fashion, sporting a red t-shirt reading “Canada” across the chest.