Obama to make historic speech on Northern Ireland in Belfast next week
Michelle Obama to spend two days in Dublin, will attend ‘Riverdance’
The news came on the heel of a major economic investment announcement by the British government in the North and the announcement of an economic conference to be chaired by British Prime Minister David Cameron in October 2013.
The president will address 2,000 people, including many schoolchildren from both communities.
A White House spokesman stated that the president especially wanted to “engage with young people.” and make clear how strongly the United states continued to support the Irish peace process.
The spokesman said the president would “mark the great progress” but also talk about the tough work ahead.
He said the president would say that the U.S. “would do whatever we can” to move forward the process and that he would deal with the need for agreement on issues such as parades, flag protests, symbols, which continue to be controversial.
Obama will “underscore” the commitment of the U.S. to the Irish peace process said the spokesman. He will also meet Irish leader Enda Kenny who will attend the G8 summit as Ireland currently holds the presidency of Europe.
Asked if he would consider a new special envoy to help with the peace process the spokesman said that Obama would consult with Northern Ireland leaders on what the next steps should be .
There will be no announcement about who the next U.S. Ambassador to Ireland will be during the visit the spokesman said.
Meanwhile First Lady Michelle Obama wil be in the Irish Republic where she will visit Trinity College to look at material related to the Obama family roots. She will also attend a showing of “Riverdance” and will visit the Wicklow mountains.
Speaking of the economic package at a meeting in London with First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Cameron stated “The package of measures we've agreed today: more support for business, for infrastructure, guarantees for start up loans, research and development investment plans of £20m, all of these will be crucial in gearing up Northern Ireland," he said.
Peter Robinson stated it showed that the policy of the Westminster government was in tune with the executive.
Martin McGuinness said the plans were a "vote of confidence" in the work being carried out at Stormont.
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America is the land of discrimination. First it was against Blacks and Catholics. Kennedy had Catholic declared White, and switched the discriminatiNelson Mandela was against IRA decommissioning its arms during 2000 talks
Actually, I'm, MOST impressed with the reasonable, PRACTICAL tone of most of the comments thus far! I am loathe to criticize a reporter trying to do aNelson Mandela was against IRA decommissioning its arms during 2000 talks
Think of how many lives would have been saved, if they would have let the Mothers do the fighting with their babies. Yes Northern Ireland is going toNelson Mandela was against IRA decommissioning its arms during 2000 talks
fascinating article. btw, has this guy been nominated for canonization yet? (any bets on whether he'll get the final conferral before the Polish pop