Obama Arrives in Northern Ireland for G8 With Syria Crisis Looming Large
President Obama arrived in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Monday — the first of a three-stop, three-day European trip on which the war in Syria was likely to weight heavy.
Soon after his arrival he appealed to Northern Ireland’s youth to sustain their peace in his first opportunity to highlight the role the United States has played helping bring about reconciliation in the country.
He delivered a speech to a largely young audience at the Belfast Waterfront Hall, where President Clinton delivered his 1998 address to Northern Ireland.
While Clinton urged the public to “rise above feuds, not fuel them,” Mr. Obama spoke primarily of the future.
“You are the first generation in this land to inherit more than just the hardened attitudes and the bitter prejudices of the past, you’re an inheritor of a just and hard-earned peace,” Mr. Obama told his audience. His speech didn’t deviate from the subject of Northern Ireland’s emergence from a past fraught with sectarian violence and hatred.
Following the speech, Mr. Obama was to move to the Lough Erne Golf Resort for the G8 economic summit. While it was unclear whether any of the world leaders would make it onto the links for a round of golf, the president was scheduled to arrive by helicopter on the 14th hole of the Faldo Course, named for golf legend and course designer Sir Nick Faldo.