Mon 5th Oct 2015
NI Chamber calls on political parties to accept help from former US President Clinton
The President of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) has called on the Stormont administration to accept the offer of help from former US President Bill Clinton and to intervene in Northern Ireland’s current political crisis – which currently requires “urgency and maturity” from local politicians.
Stephen McCully made the comments as it emerged that the US Envoy to Northern Ireland Senator Gary Hart is to return here later this month in a bid to resolve the row between political parties following the breakdown of trust between Sinn Fein and unionist parties.
Last week, Mr Clinton expressed his continued interest in wanting to assist the process in Northern Ireland and help in any way he can as political parties continue to hold round-table talks.
Mr McCully said:
“Any offer of help from the US should be grasped by Northern Ireland’s parties. Northern Ireland is not in a good place politically and progress must be made before the end of the year. The situation requires urgency and maturity and if American influence can help push the situation along then the offer should not be ignored.”
He continued: “The offer has been respectfully received, if a little coolly, by some local politicians. They are absolutely entitled of course to claim this process as their own but if a little outside help is available, then perhaps it would be prudent to take up the offer. The USA remains an important trading partner for Northern Ireland and should an agreement eventually be reached which includes the reduction of Corporation Tax, then Invest NI and our Ministers will be looking stateside for possible FDI projects. It is important to maintain those business as well as political links.”