Published Thursday, 28 June 2012
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Mr McGuinness was speaking at an event at the Houses of Parliament in London on Thursday evening, after his historic handshake the day before.
"National reconciliation will be built on the firm foundation of mutual respect and decisive actions," said the leading Sinn Féin politician.
"That is the context within which I met Queen Elizabeth this week. It was in a very pointed, deliberate and symbolic way of offering the hand of friendship to unionists through the person of Queen Elizabeth for which many unionists have a deep affinity.
"It is an offer I hope many will accept in the same spirit it was offered."
The self-confessed former IRA commander met the monarch at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast during her two-day Diamond Jubilee visit to Northern Ireland.
Mr McGuinness said it part of the healing process between Protestants and Catholics.
However he added that efforts to broaden the process of reconciliation were being hampered by the British government, and accused Prime Minister David Cameron of failing to fully involve himself in efforts to build peace.
He also accused the UK government of making "a series of very wrong and unhelpful decisions".
The deputy First Minister continued: "Unfortunately, to date, the British State has refused to even acknowledge its role as a combatant in the conflict.
"That position is no longer tenable as we move forward. It is insulting to victims of events like Bloody Sunday in my own city when 14 people were killed and it is insulting to people's intelligence.
"It is also excluding the British state from assisting a genuine process of national reconciliation in Ireland. A process which, though embryonic, is nevertheless under way.
"There are issues that have not been brought to a conclusion, specifically the issue of the legacy of the conflict. The British Government has a big role to play in that."
In his speech he added that his party's abstentionist MPs would be playing a new role lobbying opinion in Britain in favour of fostering reconciliation in Ireland.
He continued: "I also realise that the Ireland of 1922 is not the Ireland of 2012.
"But that does not mean that the current British Government does not have an obligation to deal with the legacy of previous governments' failures with regard to Ireland. If you continue to ignore an inherited problem you become part of the problem itself."