April 19, 2019
Belfast, Northern Ireland — Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a high-level congressional delegation has concluded a two-day visit to Northern Ireland. The delegation has spent the past week visiting Stuttgart, London, Dublin, Derry-Londonderry and Belfast. Speaker Pelosi released the following statement:
“Our congressional delegation visited a Northern Ireland that has been transformed by the Belfast Good Friday Accords.
“We walked across the Northern Ireland-Ireland border, where a hard, militarized border of barbed wire and checkpoints has been replaced by a seamless border whose only obstacle was the traffic jam our brief visit caused.
“We joined our distinguished colleague, Chairman Richie Neal, at Ulster University where he received an honorary doctorate and delivered an address for the John Hume-Tip O’Neill Lecture Series.
“We met with Mayor John Boyle and religious, business and community leaders of both traditions in the Derry-Londonderry Guildhall, and heard their hopes for the future of Northern Ireland and the challenges that still remain. Arm in arm with the great John Hume’s wife and partner in peace Pat Hume, we walked onto the Peace Bridge that seeks to draw communities closer.
“This morning, we were deeply saddened to learn of the violence and senseless murder of a young woman in Derry-Londonderry last night. These acts stand in stark contrast to the commitment to peace and a brighter future that we witnessed during our visit to that beautiful city.
“This morning, we were welcomed to the Stormont Parliament buildings by Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly Robin Newton, to meet with young people from both traditions. We heard from this new generation, born into the hope of the Belfast Good Friday Accords, about their aspirations for the future and their perspectives on the challenges that Northern Ireland faces now. Progress must continue to be made for the children.
“Over the past week, we have met with our men and women in uniform in Stuttgart, had top level discussions with political and civic leaders in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and seen first-hand the transformation and challenges in Northern Ireland. We return to Washington strengthened and informed by the discussions and briefings we’ve had with our friends and two of our closest allies, the United Kingdom and Ireland.”