Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Deal will secure peace - Clinton

Hillary Clinton has hailed the deal to save Northern Ireland?s power-sharing government
Hillary Clinton has hailed the deal to save Northern Ireland?s power-sharing government
DUP leader Peter Robinson (left) and Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness during a press conference after a deal was announced about Northern Ireland's power-sharing government.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown (left), DUP leader Peter Robinson (centre left), Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness (centre right) and Taoiseach Brian Cowen (right) during a press conference after a deal was announced about Northern Ireland's power-sharing government
Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams looks at a copy of the agreement after a deal was announced about Northern Ireland's power-sharing government at the press conference in Hillsborough
Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his Irish counterpart Brian Cowen at the roundtable session of the assembly to discuss the deal the DUP and Sinn Fein have agreed over the devolution of policing and justice powers from Westminster to Northern Ireland.
The First Minister's microphone before a press conference in Hillsborough, to announce a deal about Northern Ireland's power-sharing government.
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (far left) looks on as Prime Minister Gordon Brown (centre left), DUP leader Peter Robinson (centre right) and Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness (right) speak during a press conference after a deal was announced about Northern Ireland's power-sharing government.
Gerry Adams with his party colleagues as a deal in policing and justice has been done at Hillsborough Castle
A copy of the deal on the devolution of policing and justice powers which the DUP and Sinn Fein have agreed upon at Hillsborough Castle.

The deal to save Northern Ireland's power-sharing government will help secure lasting peace in the region, US secretary of state Hillary Clinton has said.

She praised the agreement which will see policing and justice powers devolved from Westminster to the Stormont Assembly by April 12.

The deal was announced with First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at Hillsborough Castle, Co Down, where the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Fein held nearly two weeks of round-the-clock negotiations.

Mrs Clinton said: "Today, Northern Ireland has taken another important step toward a full and lasting peace.

"Its political leaders have agreed on a roadmap and a timeline for the devolution of policing and justice powers, and they have taken other productive steps as well. The accord they reached today will help consolidate the hard-won gains of the past decade."

She added: "This has not been an easy road. There were plenty of bumps along the way. I have been in regular contact with the parties since my trip to Belfast in October, and I know that at times the path forward was far from clear."

Mrs Clinton praised those who brokered the deal and promised her continued support for the peace process and the efforts to foster economic links across the Atlantic.

"Now, we join the world in looking to the leaders of Northern Ireland to build upon their efforts by promoting a new spirit of cooperation among all parties," she said.

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