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article imageHillary Clinton condemns recent Northern Ireland violence

By Raluca Besliu     Dec 7, 2012 in Politics
Following discussions in Dublin with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, U.S. Secretary of State arrived in a Northern Ireland troubled by a week of violent riots.
The riots started on Monday night after Belfast City Council voted to only fly the Union flag over City Hall on designated days during the year. Until the Council’s decision, the Union flag had daily appeared over the building for over 100 years. A loyalist protest outside the council meeting turned violent, injuring 15 police officers. On Wednesday, another protest erupted in Carrickfergus, leaving four police officers wounded. Moreover, on Friday, prior to the U.S. Secretary of State’s arrival, four men were arrested, after a bomb was recovered in a car in a republican area of Londonberry, while a letter bomb capable of killing or causing serious injury was found in a County Down postbox.
Clinton joined Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at Stormont Castle in Belfast. She condemned the wave of street violence, claiming that it indicates that Northern Ireland’s peace process has yet to be completed. Clinton further stressed that the violence coming from a small minority trying to stir up emotions is unacceptable and must be repudiated by everyone. She added that peace needed sacrifice, compromise and vigilance.
With house prices falling by more than 50 percent since 2007, Northern Ireland has also had to endure one of worst housing market crashes in the world. Its leaders are hoping for an increase in U.S. investments. Reg Empey, the chairman of the Ulster Unionist Party, has recently claimed that Northern Ireland needs greater economic rather than political support from the U.S. and other countries. Hillary Clinton will, in fact, hold talks on a Northern Ireland economic reeling.
This is the U.S. Secretary of State seventh visit to Northern Ireland. She and her husband, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, played an important role in constructing the peace process and repeatedly visited Northern Ireland during the 1990s.
Bill Clinton was involved in brokering the 1998 Good Friday Peace Accord, which largely ended 30 years of violence between nationalist and unionist factions, as he appointed ambassador George Mitchell to chair the peace talks. Since the adoption of the Accord, peace has mostly held, although militant nationalists have increased the number of attacks in recent years. As first lady, Hillary Clinton supported pro-peace women’s groups in Northern Ireland and visited individuals injured in the 1988 Omagh bombing, the deadliest attack in the three decades of violence in Northern Ireland known as the Troubles.
Clinton’s current visit to Northern Ireland is one of her last as Secretary of State.
More about Hillary clinton, Northern ireland, Peace process
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