Belfast Telegraph

Ambassador's hopes for new mission

Britain's ambassador to Ireland has said there is no room from complacency in relations between the two countries.

After meeting President Michael D Higgins, Dominick Chilcott said he hoped his mission in Dublin would follow the successes of the last few years.

"Her Majesty the Queen was delighted at the success of her state visit to Ireland last May, which everyone describes as transformational for our bilateral relations," he said.

"I hope that my mission in Ireland will contribute to maintaining this upwards trajectory. There is no room for complacency, given the complexity of our shared history, and there will undoubtedly be challenges ahead."

Mr Chilcott said he backed the message from Prime Minister David Cameron and Taoiseach Enda Kenny last month that there could be a "real flowering" of ties between friends and relatives across the Irish Sea and improved links in business, politics, culture, sport, travel and technology.

"I consider myself very fortunate to be starting my mission as British ambassador to Ireland at such a propitious time, when relations between our countries are stronger, more settled and more important than ever before," he said.

Mr Chilcott, accompanied by his wife Jane and Andrew Staunton, deputy head of mission at the British Embassy, presented his credentials to Mr Higgins at the President's residence Aras an Uachtarain.

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