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US State Department pays tribute to Martin McGuinness

By Claire Williamson

The US State Department has paid tribute to Martin McGuinness following his death.

Mr McGuinness passed away early on Tuesday following a short battle with illness at the age of 66.

Spokesman Mark Toner said that Mr McGuinness "worked to end violence and promote cross-community reconciliation".

He said: "First, we were saddened to learn of the passing of Martin McGuiness. As deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, McGuiness worked to make the power sharing in government a cornerstone of consolidating peace and building prosperity in the region.

"In making difficult decisions to move away from militancy, McGuiness worked to end violence and promote cross-community reconciliation.

"McGuiness will also be long remembered as a pivotal negotiator and architect of the U.S.-brokered Good Friday Agreement, helping Northern Ireland to transition from decades of violence to a more stable and peaceful future."

Books of condolence have been opened for Mr McGuinness at Stormont, Belfast City Hall and in the Guildhall.

The Northern Ireland Assembly was recalled on Wednesday to gather MLAs to pay tribute to the Sinn Fein veteran.

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