Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 April 2015

President Obama arrives in Belfast ahead of G8 summit

President Barack Obama arrives in Northern Ireland for the G8 Summit in Enniskillen
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.
President Barack Obama leaves Belfast International Airport on his way to the Waterfront Hall
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 arrived in Belfast today amid the biggest security operation ever mounted in Northern Ireland, writes Lesley-Anne McKeown

Air Force One touched down at Aldergrove International Airport, 20 miles north of the city, where the President emerged from the plane with his wife, Michelle, and two daughters, Malia, 14, and Sasha, 11.

He was flown to Belfast City Airport by helicopter and then travelled to the Waterfront Hall conference centre where he spoke to an invited audience of 2,000 mostly young people and urged political leaders to develop the peace process.

On arrival at the Waterfront, Mr Obama was greeted by Northern Ireland's First and Deputy First Ministers Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness.

Roads into and out of Belfast were closed to facilitate the president's visit.

Hundreds of police 4x4s lined the streets, while the Police Service of Northern Ireland helicopter patrolled the skies over the city.

Thousands of extra police officers were deployed to the province ahead of the G8 summit.

Even though Mr Obama visitied the Republic two years ago, this is his first trip to Northern Ireland.

Later he will travel to the luxury Lough Erne golf resort in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, where the leaders of the world's eight wealthiest countries will converge for the two-day G8 economic conference.

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.

Despite the international focus on Syria, Mr Cameron made clear that his key priorities for the two-day summit are economic issues, including a planned EU/US free trade deal and measures to crack down on tax havens.

The Prime Minister has put the "three Ts" of trade, tax and transparency at the top of the agenda while the UK holds the year-long presidency of the G8.

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 £10 billion 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 standards.

Mr Cameron said: "I think we have made huge progress already, even before leaders have arrived here in Northern Ireland.

"I know the scepticism there is around the country about leaders meeting, a lot of words, will things happen?

"I want to be absolutely clear that my agenda here is about helping hard-working families right here in the United Kingdom.

"We've already actually gathered billions of pounds of extra tax revenue because of this agenda, which means that I can keep taxes down on hard-working families across the United Kingdom.

"We are going to achieve more on that. If we sign trade deals and start trade negotiations here at this meeting in Northern Ireland, that will cut prices and mean a wider range of goods in shops here in the United Kingdom and jobs here in the United Kingdom.

"So my focus is very clear - getting agreements, signing deals, making progress on issues that will help hard-working families right here in the United Kingdom. For me, that's what the agenda of this G8 is all about."

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