Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

Summit shows changed N Ireland - PM

Prime Minister David Cameron has hailed the G8 Summit in Northern Ireland

Prime Minister David Cameron has hailed the G8 summit as the most peaceful in recent memory, insisting the whole world had now seen the new Northern Ireland.

Mr Cameron said the fact the high-profile event was hosted in the region, and without incident, was proof of how much it had changed as a result of the peace process.

After two days that witnessed no disorder, never mind the pitched clashes between police and protesters played out at previous summits around the world, the Prime Minister praised all involved with putting on the event at the Lough Erne Golf Resort near Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh.

He noted that in 1987 Enniskillen was in global headlines for very different reasons - when an IRA bomb killed 11 people attending a Remembrance Day Service at the town's war memorial.

"Twenty five years ago when a terrible bomb killed 11 people just a few miles down the road, a G8 in Co Fermanagh would have been unimaginable," he said.

"Today the world has seen the new Northern Ireland. Not only beautiful, but a Northern Ireland which is open for business, a Northern Ireland that is bringing down the peace walls which have separated its people for so long; a Northern Ireland determined to be defined by a shared future, not by a divided past.

"It is a transformation that I believe can be an inspiration for the world. All of the G8 leaders commented on how remarkable to hold this G8 here, what a powerful message it sent and what it meant for them. That transformation was made possible by the determination of so many people in all sections of the community."

Stressing the opportunities that the G8 could open up, Mr Cameron said he would attend an investment conference in Northern Ireland in October.

"I think businesses in different parts of the world watching the G8 will have seen a great, commercial Northern Ireland," he said.

"I hope we can encourage participation in that event."

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