Statement by the President: Visit by Leaders of Northern Ireland Executive (9/13/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
September 13, 2000

                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

     I was encouraged by today?s historic first visit to the White House by
the leaders of Northern Ireland?s new government, established under the
Good Friday Accord.  First Minister David Trimble and Deputy First Minister
Seamus Mallon conveyed to me their absolute commitment to make the new
political institutions work for the benefit of all the people of Northern
Ireland.  Although the institutions have only been fully operating for a
matter of weeks, elected representatives from across the party spectrum are
working together on issues -- from economic development, to the
environment, to health, and education -- that hold the key to a better life
for their constituents, who now hold them accountable under devolution of

     While difficult issues relating to implementation of the Good Friday
Accord remain, I am convinced following today?s meeting that all the
parties can work together to overcome their differences and that they fully
recognize the importance of doing so to ensure that these historic
achievements are not lost.  The ongoing violence reminds us of the need for
all parties to carry out their obligations under the Accord, and for those
with political aims to pursue them through exclusively peaceful means.

     I am grateful for the invitation extended to me to visit Northern
Ireland.  I reaffirm my desire to continue to support the peace process in
any way we can.

     Thanks to courageous and determined leadership, the people of Northern
Ireland face a brighter future now than at any time in the last three
decades.  As those in zones of conflict around the world search for hope,
they need look no further than Northern Ireland, whose leaders have proved
that risks for peace are worth taking.


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