Claudia Savage, PA
Former US president Bill Clinton is to visit Belfast to attend an international conference to mark the 25th Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement at Queen’s University.
His wife, Hillary Clinton, a former US secretary of state, is chancellor of Queen’s University and will also be visiting Belfast to host the three-day conference.
US president Joe Biden has also confirmed his intention to visit Belfast in April.
Mr Clinton played a prominent role in the negotiations leading up to the agreement, signed on April 10th, 1998, and has revisited Northern Ireland several times since.
Mrs Clinton will host the event at Queen’s University, which aims to reflect upon how the agreement was achieved in 1998 while also addressing current political issues in Northern Ireland and Ireland.
“Northern Ireland and Queen’s University are both close to Bill’s and my heart,” Mrs Clinton said.
“It’s fitting that such a unique event will take place at Queen’s. The university makes a significant impact on the world through its outstanding research and innovation.
“I am proud to host this conference, which will bring together civic leaders who have contributed to peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland.”
Professor Ian Greer, president and vice-chancellor of Queen’s University, explained that the Clintons were integral to the success of the Good Friday Agreement.
“We are delighted that our chancellor, secretary Clinton, alongside president Clinton, and a host of esteemed world figures will be joining this event to share their experiences and expertise in peace-building,” Mr Greer said.
“President Clinton played a crucial role in securing the agreement in 1998 while working with local parties to establish the institutions outlined in the three Belfast/Good Friday Agreement strands.
“Secretary Clinton, as first lady, senator and secretary of state, continued that work to secure progress in Northern Ireland through dialogue and working with local leaders and community groups to promote reconciliation.
“It is fitting that both of them will play a central role in the conference.”