Clinton begins Derry visit

Former US president Bill Clinton

Former US president Bill Clinton has begun a day long visit to the North by crossing a symbolic peace bridge.

The American statesman was accompanied by former SDLP leader and Nobel Laureate John Hume and his wife Pat as he walked along the foot bridge linking divided communities in Derry.

Opened in 2011, the structure is a tangible representation of efforts in Derry to forge better relations between the predominantly unionist Waterside and nationalist City side areas on opposite banks of the River Foyle.

Mr Clinton will later address crowds at the city’s Guildhall square – a speech in which he is expected to pay tribute to Mr Hume’s key role in the peace process.

On his fifth visit to Derry, Mr Clinton will also help launch a book on peacemaking produced by the University of Ulster. Tonight in Belfast he will officially open a leadership institute named after him at Queen’s University.

Before delivering the inaugural William J Clinton leadership lecture at Queen’s, he will meet with N

the North’s First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at Stormont to discuss current challenges facing the power-sharing institutions.

The 67-year-old was heavily involved in the peace process when he was president, especially in the run-up to the signing of the historic 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

He first visited Belfast in 1995.

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