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Wednesday 17 September 2014

Martin McGuinness praises Queen as 'miles ahead' of others in peace process

Published 24/06/2014 | 19:48

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A local youth takes a selfie in front of Britain's Queen Elizabeth in St George's indoor market in Belfast, Northern Ireland June 24, 2014. REUTERS/Peter Macdiarmid/Pool (NORTHERN IRELAND - Tags: POLITICS ROYALS SOCIETY)
A local youth takes a selfie in front of Britain's Queen Elizabeth in St George's indoor market in Belfast, Northern Ireland

QUEEN Elizabeth is "miles ahead" of political leaders in Ireland and Britain in terms of achieving real progress in the Peace Process, according to the North's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

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The Sinn Fein politician tonight said Her Majesty "believes in big acts of reconciliation" and sets an example that the British and Irish governments should follow.

"I believe she is a very passionate supporter of the Peace Process and that's reflective in the speech she made in Belfast City Hall," he said.

"She absolutely believes in big acts of reconciliation and I think in that regard, she is miles ahead of many others. I think she sets an example that others should follow," he added.

The former IRA commander was speaking ahead of talks with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tanaiste at government buildings.

Round table all party talks begin in the North tomorrow amid hopes progress in the peace talks can be made before the Marching Season starts in earnest next month.

The talks are due to continue over the next few weeks.

Mr McGuinness warned against any violence or attacks on the emergency services while talks are ongoing.

"The people of the North, the people of Belfast and the people of North Belfast don't want conflict on the streets over the course of the next couple of weeks. And I think we all need to be shouting from the rooftops that the next couple of weeks, absolutely, have to be peaceful," he said.

"No attacks on the police, no running against decisions made by the Parades Commission...Everybody within those talks have to put their shoulder to the wheel, we are absolutely committed to do that," he added.

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh (left) talk with stall holder Simon Matthews during a walk around St. Georges Market in Belfast, on day two of their visit to Northern Ireland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 24, 2014. See PA story ROYAL Ulster. Photo credit should read: Peter Macdiarmid/PA Wire
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh (left) talk with stall holder Simon Matthews during a walk around St. Georges Market in Belfast

Speaking to reporters, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams said there is a "fair amount of scepticism" among the public about achieving real progress.

"What we require is a pro-Good Friday agreement axis. What we need is a champion for the Good Friday agreement in the governments," Mr Adams said.

Queen Elizabeth II during a garden party held at Hillsborough Castle, on day two of their visit to Northern Ireland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 24, 2014. See PA story ROYAL Ulster. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Queen Elizabeth II during a garden party held at Hillsborough Castle, on day two of their visit to Northern Ireland.

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