U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will add the Northern Ireland peace process to her extensive portfolio.

The news confirms the exclusive story we ran last week.

Clinton said she would be "on call" to help Northern Ireland realize the full benefits of peace and prosperity.

"I've been in consultations with representatives of the Irish government, the British government, the Northern Ireland leadership, and we're going to be as helpful as we can," she said.

"The problems that the continuing efforts toward finalizing the agreements in the Good Friday accord are really up to the parties themselves, and certainly in consultation with the British government and, to a lesser extent, the Irish government," she said.

"I've spent many years in this, on this issue. I care deeply about the outcome. I know the players. I stayed closely in touch with them when I was in the Senate, so I've made it clear that I and my team are on call to help in any way we can as the continuing decisions have to be made to realize the full benefits of a Northern Ireland at peace, and moving toward the kind of prosperity they're looking for."

Clinton was a frequent visitor to Ireland during her husband Bill's term as U.S. President and developed a passionate interest in Irish affairs.