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McGuinness to meet Obama

Recent visit to USA and Canada by Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

Recent visit to USA and Canada by Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness will meet US President Barack Obama in Washington later today.

Mr McGuinness and First Minister Peter Robinson are currently on a tour of North American and will visit Washington and Toronto to meet with business and political leaders.

The pair will visit the White House today to meet President Obama as part of the St Patrick’s Day celebrations. They are also set to hold talks with US secretary of state, Hilary Clinton.

After attending the reception in the White House, Mr McGuinness and Mr Robinson will travel to Montreal, Canada, to visit the Bombardier factory before moving on to Toronto to meet with tourism chiefs.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Mr McGuinness said attracting more tourists to the north is a priority for the Executive.

“The Executive has put the creation of a vibrant economy at the very top of its priority list. Tourism is a central plank in our economic recovery and allied to the many exciting initiatives taking place this year and next we hope to increase visitor numbers to 4.2 million and tourist revenue to £676million by December 2014.

“Our confidence has never been higher because there really never has been a better time to see the north. We can guarantee visitors a time to treasure,” he said.

While in the states, the ministers will launch the ‘ni2012’ programme of events designed to boost tourism. The programme includes the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic and the Irish Open Golf Championship at Portrush.

Foyle SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood is also in the United States for the St Patrick’s Day festivities. He accompanied environment minister Alex Attwood to a number of engagements in New York and Washington.

Mr Eastwood will also travel to the White House to attend the St Patrick’s Day function hosted by Barack Obama and Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

The Foyle MLA is also set to attend a business event organised by the NI Bureau focusing on creative industries.

He said he it’s an opportunity to promote American investment in Derry.

“Given the intention to centre a Creative Industries’ hub at Ebrington, this event offers a prime opportunity to act as an advocate for Derry’.

“I will also be making sure to invite as many people as possible to our City of Culture celebrations next year,” he said.

 

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