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Sinn Fein welcomes news Trump will appoint a new envoy to Northern Ireland

By Staff Reporter

Sinn Fein has welcomed confirmation that the US administration is to retain the post of Special Envoy to Northern Ireland.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had last month announced he would eliminate many international special envoys.

The last envoy to Northern Ireland was former Democrat Senator Gary Hart.

His appointment lapsed when Barack Obama left the White House, and the position has not been filled by President Trump.

But on Tuesday, Congress member Richard Neal said he had secured a commitment from Mr Trump to fill the vacant position. “I want to thank Congressman Richard Neal and the Friends of Ireland group in the Congress for their efforts to secure the US Special Envoy post,” Sinn Fein Stormont leader Michelle O’Neill said. “Successive US administrations have played a hugely important and positive role in the peace and political process over the last 25 years, so it was greatly disappointing when the Trump administration initially indicated that the post would not be renewed.

“I am delighted the White House has now decided to rethink that decision and I look forward to working with the new envoy as soon as he or she is appointed.”

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams TD also welcomed the news.

He said: “An envoy can play an important role in ensuring that the Good Friday Agreement is fully implemented and in helping to chart a course through the difficulties that will increase as a result of Brexit.”

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