Arlene Foster wishes Martin McGuinness a speedy recovery
Arlene Foster has wished Martin McGuinness a speedy recovery and praised his contribution to the "good things" they achieved while in government together.
Mr McGuinness's decision to quit front-line politics comes amid a deep rift between him and Mrs Foster - a row that forced the collapse of the Stormont Executive when he quit as deputy first minister, forcing her from her job as first minister.
The DUP leader said: "Martin McGuinness and I have had our political differences and we come from very different angles of vision.
"When I was elected as First Minister in January 2016 I indicated that alongside him I was determined to work with him for the betterment of all the people of Northern Ireland in order to build a better future for everyone.
"While the current political situation is not what any of us would wish and there is much work to be done to return stable government to Northern Ireland I nonetheless value the good things achieved by the outgoing Executive and the contribution made by Mr McGuinness to it.
"As Deputy First Minister for almost a decade Martin McGuinness has been a major figure at Stormont. While never forgetting the past I believe the work at Stormont provided the foundations for our relative peace today.
"Despite all that has happened I wish Martin McGuinness a speedy recovery and that he and his wife are able to enjoy time with their family away from the relentless focus of public life."