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theguardian.com

Don’t let Brexit undermine Ireland’s peace | Hillary Clinton | Opinion

‘The principles of the Belfast agreement are more important than ever.’ Stormont. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

 

Hillary Clinton

Twenty years ago, the Good Friday/Belfast agreement helped bring an end to decades of conflict and violence in Northern Ireland. It was a watershed moment – the result of diplomatic efforts within the halls of government and extraordinary actions of ordinary women and men who reached across longstanding and bitter divides.

Today, the agreement stands not only as a local framework for shared understanding, but as a shining example of what’s possible when citizens come together to demand peace, and preserve it across generations. As the world celebrates this significant anniversary, we must also remain vigilant in protecting the agreement in the face of our current challenges – from the uncertainties heralded by Brexit to the hurdles posed by the impasse in devolved government in Northern Ireland – and do all we can to deliver on the unrealised aspirations of human rights and equality that were espoused that day in April 1998.

Even now, I can picture clearly my husband’s first trip to Northern Ireland as president. On a cold winter night in 1995, Bill and I joined thousands of people at Belfast city hall for the lighting of the Christmas tree. As Catholics and Protestants alike came to that spot from their deeply divided neighbourhoods, there was no guarantee that violence wouldn’t break out; yet they came with a sense of hope, after so many seasons of darkness.

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Hillary Clinton Statement on Brexit Vote

Hillary Clinton released the following statement after the people of Great Britain voted to leave the European Union:

“We respect the choice the people of the United Kingdom have made.  Our first task has to be to make sure that the economic uncertainty created by these events does not hurt working families here in America.  We also have to make clear America’s steadfast commitment to the special relationship with Britain and the transatlantic alliance with Europe.  This time of uncertainty only underscores the need for calm, steady, experienced leadership in the White House to protect Americans’ pocketbooks and livelihoods, to support our friends and allies, to stand up to our adversaries, and to defend our interests.  It also underscores the need for us to pull together to solve our challenges as a country, not tear each other down.”

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