the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Readout of the Vice President's Meeting with First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness of Northern Ireland

Vice President Biden met today with the leaders of the Northern Ireland Executive, First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.  The Vice President commended the leaders for the remarkable progress achieved since the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and 2007 St. Andrews Agreement.  The Vice President also stressed the importance of Northern Ireland continuing to move forward toward a shared future of peace and prosperity for all.

The Vice President commended the efforts of Dr. Richard Haass, the independent chair for the talks among Northern Ireland’s political parties on sensitive issues of parades, flags/symbols, and matters dealing with the past.  While noting his disappointment that the all-party talks have not yet reached agreement, the Vice President urged the First Minister, deputy First Minister, and Northern Ireland’s political leaders to continue talks on these sensitive issues.  The Vice President pledged continuing U.S. support for Northern Ireland, including efforts to strengthen the economy and bring prosperity to the island.