Obama to make landmark speech on North at G8 summit
US president to address about 2,000 mostly young people on future for region
US president Barack Obama holds a guest’s baby during a Father’s Day luncheon in the White House yesterday. The president is to address a youthful audience in the North about prospects for the region during his visit for the G8 summit. Photograph: Christopher Gregory/the New York Times
US president Barack Obama will deliver a landmark speech in Belfast on his visit to Northern Ireland for the G8 summit of world leaders on Monday, calling on the people to finish the job of bringing peace to the region.
In a speech to about 2,000 people, mostly young people, Mr Obama will focus on the young people of Northern Ireland and the future that they will inherit and build, a senior administration official in the Obama administration said.
On his first visit to the North, he will speak about his admiration for what the people have accomplished during the peace process and his deep belief in their capacity to finish the job and to take the necessary but often difficult steps, the White House official said.
There are no plans for Mr Obama to make the long-awaited announcement on his choice for the next US ambassador to Ireland during his visit.
He will meet Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the G8 meeting at the Lough Erne resort in Co Fermanagh to seek an economic outlook from Mr Kenny for Ireland and the European Union, and for discussions on the peace process in Northern Ireland and the EU-US transatlantic trade agreement.
Discussions will take place between Mr Obama and Northern Ireland’s First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness on how the US will support the region in future.
Mr Obama will consult with Mr Robinson and Mr McGuinness on different proposals for US support, including the possible appointment of a special envoy to the North.
First lady Michelle Obama and her daughters Malia and Sasha will travel to Dublin on Monday where they will visit Trinity College.
They will examine the archives documenting the Obamas’ Irish ancestry in the university’s old library and view the Book of Kells.