Barack Obama: 'Work still to be done in Northern Ireland'

 
Peter Robinson, Martin McGuiness and Barack Obama Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness with Barack Obama

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US President Barack Obama has said urgent work is still needed in the peace process in Northern Ireland

In a statement, ahead of the 15th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, he said people and political parties had to work together to build trust.

He said America would continue to be a friend and partner in the process.

The April 1998 agreement was signed after nearly two years of political talks.

In a statement, President Obama said: "As Easter approaches, we mark the 15th anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.

"The people of Northern Ireland and their leaders have travelled a great distance over the past 15 years.

"Step by step, they have traded bullets for ballots, destruction and division for dialogue and institutions, and pointed the way toward a shared future for all.

"There is urgent work still to be done - and there will be more tests to come.

"There are still those few who prefer to look backward rather than forward - who prefer to inspire hate rather than hope.

"The many who have brought Northern Ireland this far must keep rejecting their call."

Mr Obama said "every citizen and every political party" needed to work together in service of "true and lasting peace and prosperity".

He said the United States would be there as a friend and partner "at every step of the way".

"That is the message I will carry with me when I visit Northern Ireland and attend the G-8 Summit in June," he added.

"On behalf of the American people, I salute the people and leaders of Northern Ireland and the model they have given to others struggling toward peace and reconciliation around the world.

"I pledge our continued support for their efforts to build a strong society, a vibrant economy, and an enduring peace."

 

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  • Comment number 273.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 272.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 271.

    Shouldn't Obama be more concerned about North Korea right now? I mean its not like North Korea has threatened the US mainland with long range missiles and nuclear warheads.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 270.

    What business is this of the USA's? It is an issue between a domestic terrorist group and Britain.
    Of course I guess you could point out the USA is involved due to the fact that it's been smuggling weapons to each iteration of the IRA since the very beginning.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 269.

    Bob Long: you say the peace in NI is "long gone". Really? So, things are just as bad there now as they were in the 70s, 80s and 90s, eh? Pubs in England being bombed and so on. I am sorry if you personally experienced some resurgent violence there, but to sweepingly say this means the peace "is long gone" is, don't you think, now, honestly, a tad misleading?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 268.

    Keep your anti- british comments to yourself obama- stay out of british politics- i would take you more seriously if you rooted out and prosecuted the ira terrorist funding scum in your country or is that just reserved for arab terrorist organisations, you bloody hypocrite.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 267.

    Tommysmat, please enlighten me as to how action buy the British army in 1940 something justify bombing a pub? I'm not saying that British government haven't done appalling things in Ireland, but most of the comments here are simple attacking the god Friday agreement or the us involvement. That's because men who killed women and children went free for peace, which hasn't lasted. Great deal right

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 266.

    The sheer ignorance and hypocrisy in this thread is just astounding. I'm not sure what version of historical events fill history textbooks in the English education curriculum. But judging by the common themes contained in this thread, it would appear English minds have been sheltered from the often uncomfortable & shameful realities of their government's and military's actions throughout history.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 265.

    Re:@262 unomebynow

    Congratulations on moving to the US I too spent many years living and working with Americans and greatly admired and respected them then

    It came as quite a shock when it very slowly became apparent how uneducated and bigoted the majority of them were It seems that they have become brain washed by Hollywood and a frenzied belief in their flawed constitution

    Good Luck

  • Comment number 264.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 263.

    Plenty of work to be done! Well yes, there is. But the us has exactly helped the violence, protecting IRA members, ignoring it's citizens funding them ect. The peace will only last when one side wins, or we start building bridges between communities and actually arrest those that cause, or caused, violence (I mean those that where released under Good Friday).

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    Comment number 262.

    Wow, these jingoistic, short-sighted, ignorant comments (many of them) make me glad I'm planning to move to the US. Of course, I do realize the UK was dealing very well with its relationship to Ireland for centuries until the Americans came to our aid and started trouble. Er, actually, not.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 261.

    Re: @247 Steve

    Thank you but I am quite aware of the locations of both the Falklands and the Maldives

    My comment was intended to highlight Obama's gaff when he referred to the Maldives when he was trying to remember the word Malvinas

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 260.

    Just goes to show ill informed so many people are. Clinton was a huge help in getting the peace deal signed. Any of you remember George Mitchell and his peace negotiations????? Thought not. Amazing, how people can't remember anything more than 2 years old!!

  • rate this
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    Comment number 259.

    @255 "When the US got involved (i.e. with Clinton) peace was established, and has lasted since"

    I've just left NI precisely because the "peace" has not lasted and is long gone.

    The peace that was obtained for a while was bought by bribing the then-current generation of terrorists on both sides. This made no difference to the next generation and solved exactly nothing. But it looked good on TV.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 258.

    Interesting to read the comments here bemoaning the cheek of Obama, sticking his nose into other countries business, er... kettle, black etc. Most British whom I have discussed politics with, don't seem to have any critical faculties, it presumably follows from their jingoistic, one sided education, most of the comments here are a case in point.. USA! USA!, UK! UK! your all the bloody same!

  • rate this
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    Comment number 257.

    235. rockandhardplace
    1 HOUR AGO
    228. Bridge59 - The fact you and I are English means we do not understand the deep rooted feelings in Ireland and some parts of Scotland on faith, leading to the sectarianism that has evolved over the centuries. In 2013,

    What I didn't say was that my Dad was from Eire and as such I am dismayed and embarrassed to have links with people who won't compromise.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 256.

    Stop meddling into our affairs America. This situation has been going on long before America even existed.

    So be a dear and concentrate on something else, like Israel or um...North Korea?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 255.

    Wicked Witch of the South West:
    "You worry about US matters Mr Obama & we'll worry about what's going on in Ireland. We can do without the kind of help America gives, people end up dead."

    Actually, when the situation lacked American involvement, a great many people wound up dead, especially Irish people. When the US got involved (i.e. with Clinton) peace was established, and has lasted since.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 254.

    247 Steve given US knowledge of the "world outside america" I suspect UK Expats comment is correct :)

 

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