Northern Ireland

Martin McGuinness to meet the Queen during Belfast visit

The Queen and Martin McGuinness shake hands Image copyright PA
Image caption The Queen and Martin McGuinness shook hands for the first time during her last visit in 2012

NI's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has confirmed he will meet the Queen again when she visits Belfast.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are to come to Northern Ireland between 23 June and 25 June.

It will be the Queen's first visit since 2012, when she came as part of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

During that visit, Her Majesty and the Sinn Féin MLA, a former IRA leader, shook hands for the first time.

In April, Mr McGuinness toasted the Queen during a banquet at Windsor Castle as part of the state visit of Irish president Michael D Higgins.

The deputy first minister said he would be meeting the Queen "as a representative of all our people".

"The visit by Queen Elizabeth is an opportunity to demonstrate mutual respect and to further build on the process of reconciliation," he said.

"Despite the current difficulties, I am determined to provide positive, forward-thinking political leadership."

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