Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to visit Dublin, Belfast and London on October 11th and 12th, IrishCentral has learned.
She will spend half a day in each city say informed sources, and the priority in Ireland will be the troubled state of the peace process as threats from dissident IRA groups escalate and political infighting continues.
It will be the first visit by a Secretary of State to Dublin and Belfast on the same trip since the Clinton presidency, and highlights the commitment that the Obama White House is giving to the continuation of the successful peace process there.
Clinton is expected to be accompanied by Declan Kelly, recently named U.S. Special Envoy to Northern Ireland and by the U.S. ambassadors to both Ireland and Britain.
She will meet all the Northern Irish party leaders at a time when internal conflict between Sinn Fein and the Democratic Unionist Party is increasing. First Minister Peter Robinson of the DUP is under increasing pressure from hard line elements in unionism while Sinn Fein are demanding that policing and security powers be devolved to the Northern Irish government from Westminster.
At the same time, dissident IRA groups have made several recent attempts to derail the process by sowing chaos. The most serious was when security forces defused a 600 pound bomb left near the Irish border in South Armagh last week.