Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon begins two-day visit to Dublin

She will address the Seanad as part of her engagements on Tuesday

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon begins two-day visit to Dublin

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon (left) in Aras An Uachtarain meeting President Michael D Higgins | Image: Rollingnews.ie

The Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is in the middle of a two-day trip to Dublin.

The visit is taking in a series of engagements with politicians and business leaders, to further strengthen Ireland's relationship with Scotland.

Earlier, she met with President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina at Áras an Uachtaráin.

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon in Aras An Uachtarain meeting President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina (right) | Image: Rollingnews.ie

She is also meeting with Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan to discuss continued co-operation between the two nations.

The Scottish government say this will build on discussions between Ms Sturgeon and Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the British Irish Council last week.

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeons' signature in the guest book in Aras An Uachtarain | Image: Rollingnews.ie

She will also visit the Scottish government's Innovation and Investment Hub in Dublin.

The hub is working on economic, academic and innovation partnerships between Scotland and Ireland.

Scottish exports to Ireland are worth stg£1.125bn (€1.31bn), and Irish investment into Scotland currently supports more than 6,000 jobs.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Ms Sturgeon said: "Scotland and Ireland have a long history of co-operation based on our shared values, close historic and cultural ties and the deep links between our people.

"The relationship between Scotland and Ireland is more important than ever. I look forward to meeting with political and businesses leaders to discuss how we can work together to protect and strengthen our shared interests.

"I'll be stressing the Scottish government’s commitment to the principle of European solidarity and the benefits Scotland receives from membership of the European Single Market.

"Given the close proximity of our countries, Ireland is a strategic partner for Scotland. The opening of a Scottish government Innovation and Investment Hub earlier this year, demonstrates the value we put on this relationship.

"Our hub is working on a range of issues including economic development, strengthening links on research and innovation, cooperation on energy and the development of renewable technologies and supporting government to government links.

"During my visit to Ireland, I look forward to further developing these areas of common interest to ensure deeper collaboration between our governments to deliver greater economic prosperity for both countries."

Ms Sturgeon will also address the Seanad on Tuesday.