Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that he will host Taoiseach Enda Kenny for a visit next week.
The Taoiseach will travel to Canada for a three-day trip beginning next Wednesday.
This visit means that the Taoiseach will most likely miss the next Fine Gael Parliamentary Party meeting where he had been expected to address the issue of his leadership.
Speaking earlier this month, the Taoiseach said that he would attend the European Union summit to be held in Brussels this Saturday, and would address his position after that.
TDs had expected that he would do so at the next Fine Gael Parliamentary Party meeting.
The meetings are usually held on Wednesday evenings. If that is the case next week, Mr Kenny will already be en route to Canada.
The Taoiseach and Mr Trudeau will meet in Montreal next Thursday for a bilateral meeting.
According to a statement from Mr Trudeau’s office, the two leaders will discuss the ties between Canada and Ireland and in particular how to “take advantage of the opportunities created by the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.
Speaking ahead of the meeting Mr Trudeau described Ireland as “a close friend”, adding that he was looking forward to meeting the Taoiseach to “further deepen this relationship”.
He said Ireland and Canada enjoyed “strong family ties, a shared history, and a common purpose”.
On the trade relationship, he said both countries were “collaborating again to ensure that CETA creates good, well-paying middle class jobs on both sides of the Atlantic”.
Ireland is Canada’s tenth largest EU trading partner and in 2015 Canadian foreign direct investment in Ireland totalled almost €10bn.
Around 4.5 million Canadians claim Irish ancestry, making Irish-Canadians one of the largest ethnic groupings.
In addition to meeting Mr Trudeau in Montreal, it is understood that the Taoiseach will also visit Toronto and will have a series of other trade and economic engagements. He is also expected to meet members of the Irish community during the trip.