Belfast and Boston are set to be sister cities, it can be revealed.
Belfast Lord Mayor Mairtin O Muilleoir brokered the deal yesterday with his Boston counterpart Martin J Walsh during a visit to the US city with historic Irish links.
The sister city agreement will explore academic, business and cultural links between the two cities.
Mr O Muilleoir told the Belfast Telegraph that an official memorandum will be signed in June, following an official announcement today.
"Boston is the university capital of the world, the Silicon Valley of Life Sciences and the hub of Irish America," he said.
"This is a coup for Belfast as the fastest-growing knowledge economy in Europe, and as a city at the forefront of the world at peace building, we have much to offer Boston also."
Mr Walsh said: "This is the first official act in this area of my administration and fittingly demonstrates the results of relationships built up over many years of exchanges and visits between Belfast and Boston."