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Hillary Clinton on Northern Ireland stalemate: I don’t want progress lost

The former US secretary of state said she did not want to see the gains of powersharing at Stormont lost.

Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton has expressed concern over the political stalemate in Northern Ireland.

Ms Clinton said she did not want to see the gains of the peace process and powersharing at Stormont lost.

(PA graphic)

In an interview with Ireland’s RTE television at her home in Chappaqua, upstate New York, the former US First Lady said: “I am a little worried right now, to be very candid with you.

“I am listening to and hearing reports about the loggerheads people find themselves at.

“There has just been so much progress, I don’t want to see it lost.”

Hillary Clinton with Peter Robinson (left) and the late Martin McGuinness in 2009 (Paul Faith/PA)

Ms Clinton also spoke of working with and supporting the late Martin McGuinness and others across the sectarian divide in Northern Ireland when she was First Lady, and later when a senator and Secretary of State in the Barack Obama administration.

Mr McGuinness described her as one of the “best friends” the island of Ireland has ever had.

Ms Clinton said: “I had the opportunity to work with Martin and so many others on both sides of the sectarian divide in the north, and we forged a personal relationship.

“So when I was a First Lady and a senator, I tried to be supportive in every way I could and when I was Secretary of State I made it a point to continue that support in an official capacity because I didn’t want the progress that had been made to be lost.”

Ms Clinton said both she and her husband Bill remain very committed to helping the peace process succeed.

Bill Clinton is devoted to the future of Ireland, Hillary said (Niall Carson/PA)

“Both my husband and I are extraordinarily interested in and devoted to the future of the island,” she said.

“What we have tried to do in both our public and our personal capacities has been to encourage, certainly, the peace process in the north but also to enjoy the friendships that we have developed.

“It has been an absolute privilege to be in some small way involved in everything that is going on.”

The interview was recorded last week and airs on RTE television’s The Late Late Show on Friday night.

Ms Clinton also discussed the blame she attaches to herself for her failure to defeat President Donald Trump in last year’s race to the White House, double-standards applied to women in politics and what she intends to do after stepping away from electoral politics.


From Belfast Telegraph