Taoiseach in Belfast for agreement commemorations

The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, will be in Belfast today for events to mark the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.

The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, will be in Belfast today for events to mark the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.

Mr Ahern will join with many of those who were involved in the historic negotiations of 1998, including John Hume, Gerry Adams, Reg Empey, Mark Durkan, Senator George Mitchell and General John De Chastelain.

They are due to reflect on the long-running peace talks and developments over the past decade in front of an audience of young people from both sides of the border and the United States.

In a special interview to mark the occasion, Mr Ahern said he believed a united Ireland could only come about if genuine cross-border relationships are formed.

"I don't think it'll ever be achieved on population trends or demographic trends," he said.

"It'll only be achieved if there comes a time in the future where normality and good co-existence and confidence and relationships have been built up in every quarter of Irish life."

He also said the changes introduced under the Good Friday Agreement means there was no justification for armed groups to engage in paramilitary activity.

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