Biden renews US support for Good Friday Agreement in Belfast

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President Joe Biden commemorated the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement in Belfast, Northern Ireland Wednesday in remarks laced with subtext pointing to the 1998 accord as a hopeful sign that bipartisan political tensions in the United States might soon ease. Patrick Semansky/AP

Biden renews US support for Good Friday Agreement in Belfast

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President Joe Biden commemorated the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Wednesday, pointing to the 1998 accord as a hopeful sign that bipartisan political tensions in the United States might soon ease.

Biden’s speech, delivered at Ulster University, came on the first full day of his trip across Ireland, and he opened by commenting on the “commerce, art,” and “inspiration” that has transformed Belfast in the 25 years following the decadeslong violence of the troubles.

A HOMECOMING AND A RECKONING AWAIT BIDEN IN IRELAND

“It just has a profound impact for someone who’s coming back to see it. You know, it’s an incredible testament to the power and the possibilities of peace,” he stated. “It just took a lot of hard years of work to get to this place. It took people living together in good faith and to risk boldly for the future.”

The president spent several minutes reiterating that “protecting the peace” in Ireland “is a priority for Democrats and Republicans alike,” adding that it’s “unusual today because we’ve been very divided in our parties.”

“In politics, no matter what divides us, if we look hard enough, there are always areas that are going to bring us together, if we look hard enough. Standing for peace, rejecting political violence, must be one of those things,” Biden said. “The Good Friday Agreement showed us that there is hope for repair even in the most awful breakages.”

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You can watch Biden’s remarks in full below.

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