President Obama landed in Belfast this morning and delivered a strong speech urging Northern Irelandleaders to stay on course on the peace process.
Introduced by his wife Michelle he addressed a group of 1,500 schoolchildren and many dignitaries including Irish leader Enda Kenny and the North’s top ministers Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness.
He stated : “There are still people who have reaped the rewards of peace; there are still those not convinced that the effort is worth it. There are still wounds that have not been healed and communities where tension and mistrust hangs in the air.
"If you continue your courageous path towards a permanent peace and all the social and economic benefits that come with it that won’t just be good for you," he added.
"It will be good for this entire island, for the United Kingdom, for Europe and it will be good for the world."
The president spromised the backing of the US. " We will always be a wind at your back,” he said.
The president also told the school pupils: "These daily moments of life in a bustling city in a changing country may seem ordinary to many of you. And that's what makes it so extraordinary.
"For that's what your parents and grandparents dreamt for all of you. To travel without the burden of checkpoints, or roadblocks, and seeing soldiers on patrol. To enjoy a sunny day free from the ever-present awareness that violence could blacken it at any moment.
"To befriend or fall in love with whomever you want. They hoped for a day when the world would think something different when they heard the word Belfast. And because of their effort. Because of their courage. That day has come," he added.
This afternoon he will meet world leaders during the G8 summit in Enniskillen.
Watch Obama's speech in Belfast 17th June 2013 below.
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