Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

G8 summit: US President Barack Obama tells Belfast - 'There is still much work to be done'

“Hope is contagious... I promise you the United States of America will support you every step of the way"

US President Barack Obama delivers a keynote address at Waterfront Hall in Belfast, ahead of the G8 Summit. Paul Faith/PA Wire
US President Barack Obama delivers a keynote address at Waterfront Hall in Belfast, ahead of the G8 Summit. Paul Faith/PA Wire
Finance Minister Sammy Wilson (left) and Gerry Adams TD take part in a Mexican wave while waiting for US President Barack Obama during his visit to the Waterfront Hall, Belfast ahead of the G8 Summit in County Fermanagh
Barack Obama addesses Belfast's Waterfront Hall.
US President Barack Obama hugs his wife Michelle Obama, before delivering a keynote address at Waterfront Hall in Belfast, ahead of the G8 Summit. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 17, 2013. See PA story POLITICS G8. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
Michelle Obama, the wife of the US President Barack Obama, speaks at Waterfront Hall in Belfast, ahead of the G8 Summit. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 17, 2013. See PA story POLITICS G8. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
US President Barack Obama delivers a keynote address at Waterfront Hall in Belfast, ahead of the G8 Summit. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 17, 2013. See PA story POLITICS G8. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
US President Barack Obama hugs his wife Michelle Obama, before delivering a keynote address at Waterfront Hall in Belfast, ahead of the G8 Summit. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 17, 2013. See PA story POLITICS G8. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
US President Barack Obama delivers a keynote address at Waterfront Hall in Belfast, ahead of the G8 Summit. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 17, 2013. See PA story POLITICS G8. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
US President Barack Obama delivers a keynote address at Waterfront Hall in Belfast, ahead of the G8 Summit. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 17, 2013. See PA story POLITICS G8. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
US President Barack Obama delivers a keynote address at Waterfront Hall in Belfast, ahead of the G8 Summit. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 17, 2013. See PA story POLITICS G8. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
Michell Obama, the wife of the US President Barack Obama, delivers a keynote address at Waterfront Hall in Belfast, ahead of the G8 Summit. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 17, 2013. See PA story POLITICS G8. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
US President Barack Obama waves as he exits Air Force One with his daughter Sasha upon arrival at Belfast International Airport, Northern Ireland, to attend the G8 summit in Enniskillen. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 17, 2013. See PA story POLITICS G8. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (second right), is welcomed by a Japanese embassy defence attach?, as he arrives at Belfast International Airport, as G8 leaders from around the world begin to arrive in Northern Ireland for the G8 Summit. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday June 16, 2013. See PA story POLITICS G8. Photo credit should read: Suzanne Plunkett/PA Wire
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 17: President Obama and First Lady Michelle wave to the audience in the Waterfront Hall on June 17, 2013 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Later The President will join other leaders at the G8 Summit in Fermanagh. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 17: President Barack Obama gestures to the audience as he speaks in the Waterfront Hall on June 17, 2013 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Later The President will join other leaders at the G8 Summit in Fermanagh. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland 17th June 2013 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye? G8 summit in Northern Ireland -?Arrival of world leaders at RAF Aldegrove. Air Force One arrives at RAF Aldegrove. President Barack Obama and his daughter Sasha as he arrives in Northern Ireland for the G8 Summit in Enniskillen.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - Monday 17th June 2013 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Northern Ireland Executive Ministers Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill greet President Barack Obama as he arrives in Northern Ireland for the G8 Summit in Enniskillen. Also pictured are?Lord Lieutenant Joan Christie; Minister of State Mike Penning?and Michele Obama.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - Monday 17th June 2013 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Northern Ireland Executive Ministers Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill greet President Barack Obama as he arrives in Northern Ireland for the G8 Summit in Enniskillen. Also pictured are?Lord Lieutenant Joan Christie; Minister of State Mike Penning?and Michele Obama.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - Monday 17th June 2013 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Northern Ireland Executive Ministers Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill greet President Barack Obama as he arrives in Northern Ireland for the G8 Summit in Enniskillen. Also pictured are?Lord Lieutenant Joan Christie; Minister of State Mike Penning?and Michele Obama.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - Monday 17th June 2013 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Northern Ireland Executive Ministers Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill greet President Barack Obama as he arrives in Northern Ireland for the G8 Summit in Enniskillen. Also pictured are?Lord Lieutenant Joan Christie; Minister of State Mike Penning?and Michele Obama.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - Monday 17th June 2013 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Northern Ireland Executive Ministers Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill greet President Barack Obama as he arrives in Northern Ireland for the G8 Summit in Enniskillen. Also pictured are?Lord Lieutenant Joan Christie; Minister of State Mike Penning?and Michele Obama.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - Monday 17th June 2013 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Northern Ireland Executive Ministers Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill greet President Barack Obama as he arrives in Northern Ireland for the G8 Summit in Enniskillen. Also pictured are?Lord Lieutenant Joan Christie; Minister of State Mike Penning?and Michele Obama.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland 17th June 2013 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye? G8 summit in Northern Ireland -?Arrival of world leaders at RAF Aldegrove. Air Force One arrives at RAF Aldegrove where?Northern Ireland Executive Ministers Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill greet President Barack Obama as he arrives in Northern Ireland for the G8 Summit in Enniskillen.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland 17th June 2013 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye? G8 summit in Northern Ireland -?Arrival of world leaders at RAF Aldegrove. Air Force One arrives at RAF Aldegrove where?Northern Ireland Executive Ministers Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill greet President Barack Obama as he arrives in Northern Ireland for the G8 Summit in Enniskillen.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland 17th June 2013 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye? G8 summit in Northern Ireland -?Arrival of world leaders at RAF Aldegrove. Air Force One arrives at RAF Aldegrove where?Northern Ireland Executive Ministers Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill greet President Barack Obama as he arrives in Northern Ireland for the G8 Summit in Enniskillen.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland 17th June 2013 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye? G8 summit in Northern Ireland -?Arrival of world leaders at RAF Aldegrove. Air Force One arrives at RAF Aldegrove where?Northern Ireland Executive Ministers Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill greet President Barack Obama as he arrives in Northern Ireland for the G8 Summit in Enniskillen.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland 17th June 2013 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye? G8 summit in Northern Ireland -?Arrival of world leaders at RAF Aldegrove. Air Force One arrives at RAF Aldegrove where?Northern Ireland Executive Ministers Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill greet President Barack Obama as he arrives in Northern Ireland for the G8 Summit in Enniskillen.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland 17th June 2013 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye? G8 summit in Northern Ireland -?Arrival of world leaders at RAF Aldegrove. Air Force One arrives at RAF Aldegrove where?Northern Ireland Executive Ministers Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill greet President Barack Obama as he arrives in Northern Ireland for the G8 Summit in Enniskillen.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland 17th June 2013 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye? G8 summit in Northern Ireland -?Arrival of world leaders at RAF Aldegrove. Air Force One arrives at RAF Aldegrove where?Northern Ireland Executive Ministers Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill greet President Barack Obama as he arrives in Northern Ireland for the G8 Summit in Enniskillen.
Presseye.com -17th June 2013 Tight security during the visit of the American President Barak Obama at Belfast Waterfront Hall. Photograph by Stephen Hamilton/ PresseyePresseye.com -17th June 2013 Tight security during the visit of the American President Barak Obama at Belfast Waterfront Hall. Photograph by Stephen Hamilton/ Presseye
Presseye.com -17th June 2013 Tight security during the visit of the American President Barak Obama at Belfast Waterfront Hall. Photograph by Stephen Hamilton/ Presseye
Presseye.com -17th June 2013 Tight security during the visit of the American President Barak Obama at Belfast Waterfront Hall. Photograph by Stephen Hamilton/ Presseye
Presseye.com -17th June 2013 Tight security during the visit of the American President Barak Obama at Belfast Waterfront Hall. Photograph by Stephen Hamilton/ Presseye
Presseye.com -17th June 2013 Tight security during the visit of the American President Barak Obama at Belfast Waterfront Hall. Photograph by Stephen Hamilton/ Presseye
Presseye.com -17th June 2013 Tight security during the visit of the American President Barak Obama at Belfast Waterfront Hall. Photograph by Stephen Hamilton/ Presseye
Presseye.com -17th June 2013 Tight security during the visit of the American President Barak Obama at Belfast Waterfront Hall. Photograph by Stephen Hamilton/ PresseyePresseye.com -17th June 2013 Tight security during the visit of the American President Barak Obama at Belfast Waterfront Hall. Photograph by Stephen Hamilton/ Presseye
Presseye.com -17th June 2013 Tight security during the visit of the American President Barak Obama at Belfast Waterfront Hall. Photograph by Stephen Hamilton/ PresseyePresseye.com -17th June 2013 Tight security during the visit of the American President Barak Obama at Belfast Waterfront Hall. Photograph by Stephen Hamilton/ Presseye
Presseye.com -17th June 2013 Tight security during the visit of the American President Barak Obama at Belfast Waterfront Hall. Photograph by Stephen Hamilton/ PresseyePresseye.com -17th June 2013 Tight security during the visit of the American President Barak Obama at Belfast Waterfront Hall. Photograph by Stephen Hamilton/ Presseye
Presseye.com -17th June 2013 Tight security during the visit of the American President Barak Obama at Belfast Waterfront Hall. Photograph by Stephen Hamilton/ Presseye
Presseye.com -17th June 2013 Tight security during the visit of the American President Barak Obama at Belfast Waterfront Hall. Photograph by Stephen Hamilton/ Presseye
President Barack Obama arrives in Northern Ireland for the G8 Summit in Enniskillen
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - Monday 17th June 2013 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Northern Ireland Executive Ministers Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill greet President Barack Obama as he arrives in Northern Ireland for the G8 Summit in Enniskillen. Also pictured are?Lord Lieutenant Joan Christie; Minister of State Mike Penning?and Michele Obama.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - Monday 17th June 2013 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Northern Ireland Executive Ministers Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill greet President Barack Obama as he arrives in Northern Ireland for the G8 Summit in Enniskillen. Also pictured are?Lord Lieutenant Joan Christie; Minister of State Mike Penning?and Michele Obama.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - Monday 17th June 2013 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Northern Ireland Executive Ministers Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill greet President Barack Obama as he arrives in Northern Ireland for the G8 Summit in Enniskillen. Also pictured are?Lord Lieutenant Joan Christie; Minister of State Mike Penning?and Michele Obama.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - Monday 17th June 2013 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Northern Ireland Executive Ministers Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill greet President Barack Obama as he arrives in Northern Ireland for the G8 Summit in Enniskillen. Also pictured are?Lord Lieutenant Joan Christie; Minister of State Mike Penning?and Michele Obama.
Air Force One carrying President Barack Obama arrives at Belfast International Airport for the G8 summit, Monday 17 June 2013
Protesters from Amnesty International dressed in orange jump suits and masks, hold placards requesting that President of the United States, Barack Obama, closes Guantanamo, as they congregate outside the Waterfront, Belfast, ahead of the G8 summit. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday June 16, 2013. See PA story POLITICS G8. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 16: U.S. President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and their daughter Malia walk to Marine One as they depart the White House on June 16, 2013 in Washington, DC. Obama is traveling to Northern Ireland to take part in the G8 Summit. (Photo by Joshua Roberts-Pool/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 16: Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (2nd R) is welcomed by a Japanese embassy defence attache as he arrives to attend the Enniskillen G8 summit at Belfast International Airport on June 16, 2013 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The G8 group of world leaders will meet tomorrow in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Suzanne Plunkett-WPA Pool/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 16: Flags of Japan and the United Kingdom are seen on the aircraft carrying Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as he arrives to attend the Enniskillen G8 summit at Belfast International Airport on June 16, 2013 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The G8 group of world leaders will meet tomorrow in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Suzanne Plunkett-WPA Pool/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 16: Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron walks with Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers (2nd R) and Wing Commander Faye Wiseman (L) after arriving to attend the Enniskillen G8 summit, at the 38th Irish Brigade Flying Station Aldergrove on June 16, 2013 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The G8 group of world leaders will meet tomorrow in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland and it's expected that talks will focus on international issues including creating a fairer tax system for the tax paid by corporations.(Photo by Suzanne Plunkett-WPA Pool/Getty Images)
ENNISKILLEN, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 16: A police boat patrols water close to the Kellyhevlin Hotel which is being used as the G8 media centre close to the G8 venue of Lough Erne on June 16, 2013 in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. The G8 group of world leaders will meet tomorrow in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
ENNISKILLEN, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 16: A boat sails in water close to the Kellyhevlin Hotel which is being used as the G8 media centre close to the G8 venue of Lough Erne on June 16, 2013 in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. The G8 group of world leaders will meet tomorrow in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 16: Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron arrives to attend the Enniskillen G8 summit at Belfast International Airport on June 16, 2013 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The G8 group of world leaders will meet tomorrow in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland and it's expected that talks will focus on international issues including creating a fairer tax system for the tax paid by corporations.(Photo by Suzanne Plunkett-WPA Pool/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 16: Oxfam charity volunteers wear masks depicting the G8 leaders during a photocall outside City Hall on June 16, 2013 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The G8 group of world leaders will meet tomorrow in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***
Prime Minister David Cameron walks with Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers (second right) and Wing Commander Faye Wiseman (left) after arriving at Belfast International Airport, Northern Ireland, ahead of the G8 Summit. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday June 16, 2013. See PA story POLITICS G8. Photo credit should read: Suzanne Plunkett/PA Wire
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (second right), is welcomed by a Japanese embassy defence attach?, as he arrives at Belfast International Airport, as G8 leaders from around the world begin to arrive in Northern Ireland for the G8 Summit. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday June 16, 2013. See PA story POLITICS G8. Photo credit should read: Suzanne Plunkett/PA Wire
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe waves as he arrives at Belfast International Airport, as G8 leaders from around the world begin to arrive in Northern Ireland for the G8 Summit. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday June 16, 2013. See PA story POLITICS G8. Photo credit should read: Suzanne Plunkett/PA Wire
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 16: Marine One takes off with U.S. President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and their daughter Malia from the South Lawn of the White House on June 16, 2013 in Washington, DC. Obama is traveling to Northern Ireland to take part in the G8 Summit. (Photo by Joshua Roberts-Pool/Getty Images)
Anti G8 protesters set up camp in Enniskillen town centre. Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye.
Protesters from Amnesty International dressed in orange jump suits and masks hold placards demanding that Barack Obama, closes Guantanamo, as they congregate outside the Waterfront, Belfast, ahead of the G8 summit. Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Wire
US President Barack Obama holds a baby at a Father's Day luncheon to celebrate the importance of strong families and mentorship in the State Dining Room of the White House. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)
Police officers including members of the PSNI undergo riot training and the use of dogs at Longmoor Army Camp. Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
A woman walks past a derelict shop, its windows covered in giant posters to make it look like a deli store, in Fivemiletown, Northern Ireland. Organizers of the G8 have spent weeks sprucing up the facades of businesses all around the County Fermanagh venue. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Enniskillen Town Centre gets a face lift ahead of the G8. By John McVitty
A woman walks past a derelict shop, its windows covered in giant posters to make it look like a cafe, in Enniskillen. Organizers have spent weeks sprucing up the facades of businesses all around the County Fermanagh venue.(AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Temporary cell blocks which have been built at Omagh police station in Co Tyrone, which are being made available for G8 summit protests. By Paul Faith/PA Wire
Temporary cell blocks which have been built at Omagh police station in Co Tyrone, which are being made available for G8 summit protests. Paul Faith/PA Wire
Perspex on the windows at Belfast City Hall ahead of the G8 that will take place next week at Lough Erne in Co Fermanagh Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Lough Erne Golf Resort of hotel manager Ferghal Purcell in one of the plush rooms that will host the world leaders. Cliff Donaldson/Lough Erne Golf Resort/PA Wire
Chefs at Fermanagh's Lough Erne Resort have been working on the G8 menus for four months. Local delicacies will include yellowman ice-cream with a dulse garnish, Toomebridge eels with a sweet red onion marmalade and, of course, the Ulster fry with black and white pudding.
Razor wire which has been laid in fields near the Lough Erne resort in County Fermanagh
Theresa Villiers MP, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, observes the final G8 security arrangements at the Lough Erne resort, with Chief Inspector Sue Ann Steen. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
Police man a checkpoint at the entrance to Lough Erne Hotel resort. Paul Faith/PA Wire
Divers check water features in fields near Lough Erne Hotel. Paul Faith/PA Wire
PSNI officers patroling on Lough Erne ahead of the G8 Summit. By John McVitty.
An anti-G8 mural unveiling at the back of Free Derry Corner. By John Black
The launch of the 'Big IF Belfast' concert at Botanic Gardens. The IF campaign will call on the world's most powerful leaders to ensure the eradication of world hunger is top of the agenda. Photo: Neil Harrison
The new banner unveiled for the G8 protest at Belfast City Hall organised by the Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions
BBC journalist,Chris Buckler films a segment to promote Fermanagh on BBC Breakfast. Interviewing Lough Erne Resorts Head Chef, Noel McMeel and General Manager, Ferghal Purcell. Photo by Raymond Humphreys
Local artist Peter Meanley and the Ulster Museum's Curator of Applied Art Elise Taylor admire the eight bespoke Toby jugs of the G8 leaders. The jugs took 5 months to create and are currently on display at the Ulster Museum. Photographer Brian Thompson / presseye.com
A car makes its way along a security fence erected around the G8 venue
Police officers including members of the PSNI undergo riot training including the use of a water cannon at Longmoor Army Camp
Oxfam's 'Big Head' G8 leaders arrive in Northern Ireland
Oxfam's 'Big Head' G8 leaders arrive in Northern Ireland
Security in fields near the Lough Erne resort
A ring of steel is erected on the A46 Lough Shore Road in preparation
Police officers including members of the PSNI undergo riot training including the use of dog handlers at Longmoor Army Camp
A water Cannon leaves a security check point near the Lough Erne resort
Belfast's M2 and Oxford Street in the city centre will be shut at rush hour on Monday, June 17 for Barack Obama's welcome visit.
Toyoshige Sekiguchi, the anti-capitalist Buddhist monk who has walked from Belfast to Enniskillen to bring his campaign for nuclear disarmament to the G8 leaders
Armed police guard McDonalds, a previous target for G8 protestors as thousands protest in Belfast against the G8 summit. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
G8 protester Ziggy believes many protesters have been put off travelling to Northern Ireland
G8 protester Andrew Carnegie with his dog Grace
Armed PSNI officers alongside officers from police forces around the UK stand guard in the fields over looking the Lough Erne resort, Enniskillen. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
PSNI officers alongside officers from police forces around the UK stand guard in Enniskillen town. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
Armed police guard McDonalds, a previous target for G8 protestors as thousands protest in Belfast against the G8 summit. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
An anti-fracking boat pictured on Lough Erne. Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye.
G8 protesters Darren Carnegie(left) and his father Andrew from Glasgow pictured in Enniskillen town centre. Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye.
Police stand on a bridge over the River Erne near the location of the G8 summit on June 16, 2013 in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. The G8 group of world leaders will meet tomorrow in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
A police patrol boat passes under a police vehicle on a bridge over the River Erne near the location of the G8 summit on June 16, 2013 in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. The G8 group of world leaders will meet tomorrow in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
A police officer patrols near to the location of the G8 summit on June 16, 2013 in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. The G8 group of world leaders will meet tomorrow in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama has said there is still much work to be done in Northern Ireland in order to secure a stable, peaceful future.

Barack Obama gave a rousing address to some 2,000 people - mostly young students - at Belfast's Waterfront Hall in what he said was "a different city".

"There is still much work to do," he said.

"You need to get this right. You set the example for those who are seeking peace to end conflicts of their own. You are their blueprint to follow. You are the proof of what is possible. Hope is contagious. They are watching to see what you do next."

"There are walls that still stand, there are still many miles to go.

"No one was naive that peace would be anything but a long journey."

Mr Obama, who visited the Republic of Ireland in 2011 but was on his first trip north of the border, pledged America's continued support for Northern Ireland.

"For those who choose the path of peace, the United States of America will be with you every step of the way," he vowed.

"We will always be a wind at your back.

"As I said on our visit two years ago I am convinced that this little island inspires the biggest of things. This little island - its best days are yet ahead."

The president said no-one was naive enough to think peace would be anything other than a long journey.

"This work is as urgent now as it has ever been because there is more to lose now than there has ever been," he said.

Mr Obama travelled to Belfast with his wife Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malia. A massive policing operation surrounded the visit - part of the wider security efforts aimed a delivering a secure G8 summit at the Lough Erne Golf Resort in Co Fermanagh.

Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness, the First and Deputy First Ministers of the Stormont power-sharing executive, greeted the president on arrival at the Waterfront and held a brief private meeting before Mr Obama's public address.

The First Lady introduced her husband on stage after herself being welcomed to the podium by 16-year-old Belfast schoolgirl Hannah Nelson.

Earlier, the Methodist College pupil delivered a powerful speech to the packed auditorium expressing hope that a permanent peace could be achieved.

Walking to the lectern to rapturous applause, Mr Obama told the audience Northern Ireland was a place of "remarkable beauty and extraordinary history".

In a speech dotted with touches of humour, arguably the biggest cheer came when the president employed the well-known local phrase "What's the craic?".

But the overall tone of the address was a serious one - issuing a challenge to the region's people, especially the younger generation, to not let the gains of peace slip and push for a better future.

"It is within your power to make change," he said.

"Whether you are a good neighbour to someone from the other side of past battles, that is up to you.

"Whether you treat them with the dignity and respect they deserve, that is up to you.

"Whether you let your kids play with kids who attended a different church...that is up to you."

Noting the religious divisions that still exist in Northern Ireland society, Mr Obama suggested the time had come to address challenges such as separated schooling and housing.

"Issues like segregated schools and housing, lack of jobs and opportunity, symbols of history that are sources of pride for some and pain for others - these are not tangential to peace, they are essential to it," he insisted.

"If towns remain divided, it Catholics have their schools and buildings and Protestants have theirs, if we can't see ourselves in one another, if fear and resentment are allowed to hardened, that encourages division, it discourages co-operation.

"Ultimately, peace is not just about politics, it's about attitudes, it's about a sense of empathy, it's about breaking down the divisions we create for ourselves in our own minds and our own hearts that don't exist in any objective reality but we carry with us generation after generation."

Mr Obama acknowledged that there remained those who wanted to bring Northern Ireland back to its violent past.

"This peace in Northern Ireland has been tested over the past 15 years , it has been tested over the past year, it will be tested again," he said.

The president added: "Whenever your peace is attacked you will have to choose whether to respond with the same bravery that you have shown so far or whether you succumb to worst instincts, those impulses that kept this great land divided for too long.

"You will have to choose whether to keep going, forward rather than backward and you should know that as long as you are moving forward America will always stand by you as you do."

As Mr Obama was speaking at the Waterfront Hall a small number of protesting dissident republicans opposed to the Northern Ireland peace process - some masked - marched to Belfast City Hall from a nationalist area in the west of the city.

But they were quickly moved on by police into a neighbouring street where they were hemmed in on the footpath for almost an hour. A 19-year-old man was arrested for a number of offences including disorderly behaviour.

Ahead of Mr Obama's arrival, there was a real sense of excitement inside the Waterfront Hall where the crowd performed a Mexican wave as they waited.

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Chief Constable Matt Baggott, Olympic gold medal winner Dame Mary Peters and a number of Stormont ministers were among those taking part as the wave did laps round the hall.

Outside the conference centre, a small crowd of well-wishers gathered, hoping to catch a glimpse of the president and his family.

Air Force One had touched down at Aldergrove International Airport, 20 miles north of the city, at 8.35am amid one of the biggest security operations ever mounted in Northern Ireland.

Mr Obama emerged on the steps of the plane wearing his trademark crisp dark suit and clutching his youngest daughter's hand.

He was flown by Marine One helicopter to George Best Belfast City Airport and then travelled by road to the Waterfront Hall convention centre a mile away.

Hundreds of police 4x4s lined the streets, while the PSNI helicopter patrolled the skies over the city and specialist boat units kept watch from the River Lagan.

Thousands of extra police officers were deployed in the region ahead of the G8 summit, including 3,600 from forces in England and Wales.

Mr Obama said the success of the Northern Ireland peace process was important for the whole world as it encouraged others embroiled in conflict to seek another way.

"What happens here has an impact on lives far from here," he said.

"And if you continue your courageous path toward permanent peace and all the social and economic benefits that comes from it, that won't just be good for you, it will be good for this entire island, it will good for the United Kingdom, it will be good for Europe, it will be good for the world.

"We need you to get this right."

Former US president Bill Clinton became the first serving US leader to visit Northern Ireland in 1995 and was a regular visitor during the peace negotiations. George Bush also visited Northern Ireland in 2008.

Roads into and out of the city were closed to facilitate President Obama's visit.

Hundreds of police Land Rovers also lined the streets, while the PSNI helicopter patrolled the skies over the city.

Thousands of extra police officers have been drafted into Northern Ireland ahead of what is the region's biggest single security operation in its history.

Later today, Mr Obama and EU leaders are expected to launch negotiations on what has been dubbed an "economic Nato".

When talks conclude in 18-24 months' time, Mr Cameron believes the EU/US trade pact could be worth £10bn to the UK economy - or £380 for every British household.

He is also hoping to forge agreement on greater sharing of tax information in order to prevent companies and individuals avoiding paying their fair share by hiding cash in offshore bolt-holes.

At the weekend the tax transparency drive was boosted by the agreement of 10 British overseas territories and crown dependencies to sign up to new OECD standard.

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