Finnish chair of Northern Ireland peace talks dies

image captionAlliance leader David Ford said Mr Holkeri was a man of "massive integrity"

The former Finnish Prime Minister Harri Holkeri who chaired the Northern Ireland peace talks has died.

Mr Holkeri, who was 74, received an honorary knighthood from the Queen for his work.

He co-chaired the multi-party talks that led to the historic Good Friday Agreement in 1998 along with former US Senator George Mitchell and retired Canadian General John de Chastelain.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has said Mr Holkeri "was a skilled chair".

"Harri Holkeri enjoyed a distinguished career as prime minister of Finland, and in several prominent UN roles, including in Kosovo," he said.

"But it will be for his work here alongside George Mitchell in co-chairing the talks which led to the Good Friday Agreement for which he will be most remembered internationally."

Alliance leader David Ford said Mr Holkeri was a man of "massive integrity".

"He will always be remembered for his fairness and for his diligence in his role as co-chair of the peace talks," he said.

"The people of Northern Ireland owe Harri an enormous debt of gratitude for his hard work in this role and for his ability to help in moving the process forward."

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