Obama to visit Belfast ahead of G8

Published Friday, 10 May 2013
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US President Barack Obama will begin his trip to Northern Ireland for the G8 summit in Belfast, the White House has confirmed.

Obama to visit Belfast ahead of G8
US President Barack Obama will be visiting Belfast. (© Getty)

The summit on 17 and 18 June is being hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron at Lough Erne in Co Fermanagh and will be attended by some of the world's most powerful leaders.

Both President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will make the trip to Northern Ireland.

"The President's trip will begin in Belfast, where he will engage with the people of Northern Ireland and highlight the hard work, dialogue, and institutional development they have undertaken together," a statement said.

On Thursday, Northern Ireland Secretary of State Theresa Villiers confirmed that Army troops and thousands of police officers from across Britain will be drafted in to assist the PSNI during the G8.

Thousands of protestors are expected to descend on Northern Ireland, with demonstrations likely in both Belfast and Fermanagh.

The military will be providing assistance to the PSNI, as is normal with events of this scale.

Theresa Villiers, NI Secretary

According to President Obama's press secretary, the summit will provide world leaders with an opportunity to "address pressing economic, political, and security challenges around the globe and to promote the advancement of trade and greater transparency among G8 members and the developing world."

The trip will be President Obama's first to Northern Ireland. Two years ago, he travelled to the Republic of Ireland and visited both Dublin and his ancestral home of Moneygall in Co Offaly.

The visit will also be the first by a US President since George Bush travelled to Belfast in 2008.

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

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

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Iain in Belfast wrote (626 days ago):
Oh dry your eyes Tommy. Seriously why don't you enlighten us inferior mortals as to why you spend so much time moaning about a place you hate that much. Just what is your problem (apart from the obvious)? You live in a city with more violence crime, murder and racism but then again you probably never venture far from your ivory tower. So stop lecturing other people when you clearly have no answers for any debate in which intellect is needed. Much easier to be a miserable tommy troll.
Tommy's Wee Pal in London wrote (627 days ago):
Don't feed Tommy the Troll! LOL
Tommy Atkins in London, England wrote (628 days ago):
David in Belfast And how many riotshas London had in the ;ast thirty years Get a grip and stop trying to social climb by comparing your N Ireland to other parts of the world .It does not work!!! Instead try comparing the queues of those wanting to leave London to the queus of those wanting to leave that place called N Ireland. Silk and sows ear come to mind !!!
Realist in Lisburn wrote (628 days ago):
Beachball war criminals not welcome in Belfast. Really!! Has stormont moved out the city?
David in Belfast wrote (628 days ago):
@ Tommy Atkins you must point in the directiom of this utopia you live in. Last time I was in London I found it lacking social cohesion, people identifying only with the certain religious/racial groupings. Also the riots in London and the rest of England made NI's flag pale in caomparison. 5 deaths £300 million worth of damage. Good to see the President of the only superpower coming to NI & Belfast. I was a sceptic when he first became President but I think he has done pretty well for his country, he cn't fix all the issues in the US or the West but I am sure he is doing his best. He has reduced American dependency on Middle Eastern oil something we in the UK should follow.
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