North's leaders to meet Obama

The North's political leaders will meet US president Barack Obama on St Patrick’s Day following their deal to save the power-sharing government, the White House said.

The president said yesterday’s breakthrough was an important step on the path to greater peace and prosperity.

Stormont Assembly First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness travel to Washington DC on March 17.

“The president appreciates the personal contributions and steadfast support of the Taoiseach and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown in support of the historic agreement achieved by Northern Ireland leaders today, which is an important step on the pathway to greater peace and prosperity for all communities on the island,” a White House statement said.

Party leaders meet in Belfast next week to consider their nomination for justice minister as part of the North's power-sharing deal.

Alliance Party head David Ford is favourite for the post but will face UUP opposition.

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