Biden urges return to Northern Ireland power-sharing, lauds 25 years of peace

Belfast, UK, Apr 12 (EFE).- United States president Joe Biden urged political leaders in Northern Ireland to return to a power-sharing government agreement in a speech at Ulster University on Wednesday.

Biden was in Northern Ireland to mark 25 years since the Good Friday Agreement was signed to help end over 30 years of sectarian violence.

His visit comes witn Northern Ireland’s political parties deadlocked over Brexit trade rules that has suspended the power-sharing deal that underpins the peace plan.

“I believe that the democratic institutions established in the Good Friday agreement are critical to the future of Northern Ireland,” Biden said.

“I hope the Assembly and the Executive will soon be restored – it’s a judgment for you to make, not me – but I hope it happens,” he added.

Biden also praised the historic Good Friday deal, which he said showed “there is hope for repair even in the most awful breakage.”

The peace deal, he said, demonstrated that “at times when things seem fragile or easily broken, that is when hope and hard work are needed the most.”

“Northern Ireland will not go back, pray God,” the US president said.

Earlier on Wednesday, the US president briefly met with the United Kingdom’s prime minister Rishi Sunak.

When asked by reporters what his message to Northern Irish political leaders, with whom he is due to hold informal talks on Wednesday, would be, Biden said he was there “to listen.”

The US president, who has Irish ancestry, is set to travel to Dublin later on Wednesday to start a tour of the Republic of Ireland.EFE


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