First Minister Designate Michelle O’Neill has said President Biden’s visit to the north on the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement is a ‘special moment’ and said it is now time to look to the next 25 years with hope, opportunity and ambition.
Speaking ahead of the Joe Biden’s arrival in Belfast, Michelle O’Neill said:
“I am delighted to welcome President Biden to Belfast which cements our close bonds of friendship and our partnership for peace and prosperity with the United States of America.
“To have him come to mark 25 years of peace and the signing of the Good Friday Peace Accord of 1998 and to address both houses of the Oireachtas is a special moment.
“This historic peace accord which was painstakingly negotiated at that time was made possible due to the vast and substantial contribution from the United States under the administration of President Clinton.
“As we look back with pride at just how far we have all come, and all that has been achieved, we also look forward with hope, ambition, and opportunity for the next twenty-five years.
“I welcome the commitment of President Biden to this work through his appointment of Special Envoy Joe Kennedy III and I look forward to working with him now to deepen further US investment and economic growth to the benefit of all our communities.
“We have developed close economic ties with US companies over the past two decades who have chosen the north as their gateway to Europe, creating thousands of good jobs.
“The new deal between Brussels and London gives us a huge competitive advantage as a gateway to Europe for the sale of goods to two of the world’s largest markets unimpeded.
“We must use this opportunity to attract investment, create jobs for our young people, and together deliver the change people demand and rightfully deserve.
“Peace, stability and economic opportunity are all connected and the onus is on the governments, parties and not least the DUP to restore the Executive and other GFA institutions so that we can push on and get back to business.
“As an incoming First Minister, I am absolutely determined to work with others to make politics work, and to serve every single citizen. It is time to form an Executive now to support workers, families and communities.”