Obama to promote peace on Belfast visit

Published Wednesday, 12 June 2013
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US President Barack Obama is set to promote peace as part of his first trip to Northern Ireland.

Obama to promote peace on Belfast visit
President Barack Obama touches down in NI on Monday. (© Getty)

He arrives in Belfast on Monday morning and will visit the Waterfront Hall in Belfast, before heading to the G8 summit in Co Fermanagh.

Details of the Belfast visit were leaked in the media on Wednesday morning.

Hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron, the summit is being held next Monday and Tuesday at the luxury Lough Erne golf resort near Enniskillen. Both President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will make the trip to Northern Ireland.

The President will address a select group of local people at the Waterfront Hall including children from integrated schools.

There is also speculation that the US president could be joined by his wife at the city event.

On the agenda will be the peace process. Obama is expected to urge the people of Northern Ireland to complete the journey toward a shared society.

High security surrounding Obama's visit means that precise information - such as what time the event at the Waterfront Hall is happening - is not known.

The city's courts will not sit until midday as part of a major security lockdown in central Belfast which will also affect transport.

It is not yet known if Obama's schedule will take in any other locations in Belfast or elsewhere in the region before he meets fellow world leaders at Lough Erne.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster, who hails from Fermanagh, described the impending arrival of the G8 summit to her home county as "an incredibly proud moment."

"I think there's a huge amount of rumours about at the moment, and if you're in Fermanagh you'll hear a whole manner of things that's supposed to be happening over the next number of days."

Two years ago, Obama travelled to the Republic of Ireland and visited both Dublin and his ancestral home of Moneygall in Co Offaly.

His trip next week will be the sixth visit by an American president to Northern Ireland.

The last was in 2008 when George W Bush played basketball with local schoolchildren from Loughview Integrated Primary School in Castlereagh.

Previously, Bill and Hillary Clinton had been fairly frequent visitors to the province - making three visits in the 1990s to show their support for the peace process.

Thousands of people turned out to see Bill Clinton turn out to see President Clinton turn on the Christmas lights at Belfast City Hall in 1995.

Following the G8, President Obama will travel to Germany at the invitation of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

© UTV News
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9 Comments
Tommy Atkins in London, England wrote (496 days ago):
Leave N Ireland alone Obama !!! You are wasting your time Mr. Obama . Flags and parades are all they care about Just tell them Mr. President that you love their flag and ejoy their parades and you will have friends for life
john in , the o,Armagh wrote (498 days ago):
He would do better promoting peace in Afghanistan by pulling out the united states military along with there allies. the American administration is one of the biggest abuser's of world peace, and he has the cheek to come here and talk about a peace process moving on.
the American in us wrote (498 days ago):
watch out for the drones over head.but enjoy his speech cos it will only be banter anyway.he s not much for telling the truth these day.
Nathan in Belfast wrote (499 days ago):
This is funny promotes peace sure its his country is at war they are war mongers and corrupt hes not wanted here embaressing
Amanda in Newtownabbey wrote (499 days ago):
So Obama wants to come and preach about peace and a shared future, why doesn't he visit the hope wall in east Belfast and read the recent grafitti. Nothing that indicates peace and a shared future from the vile comments and threats written all over it towards residents of Cluan Place and members of the PUL community in general.
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