John Kerry: NI Peace Process serves as a model for ending global conflict

The US Secretary of State says he "grappled" with Joe Biden on giving Gerry Adams a visa

John Kerry: NI Peace Process serves as a model for ending global conflict

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan (left) at the press conference. | Image: Niall Carson PA Wire/PA Images

John Kerry says the Northern Ireland Peace Process serves as a model for ending global conflict, referring to the success of the Good Firday Agreement as "striking".

The US Secretary of State is in Tipperary today to be awarded their Peace Prize for negotiating truces around the world, holding a press conference with Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan.

He is still working on a ceasefire in Syria, and claims Ireland is leading by example.

"I was pleased to serve in the senate when we first grappled with the issues of 'do we give a visa to Gerry Adams?'" he told reporters. "And the answer is we did, and the rest is history ... That can still serve as a model for embracing reconciliation."

He also spoke with the Minister about the success of the J1 programme, saying he is due to sign an MOU next week which will increase the number of young Irish people able to intern in the United States. Republic candidate Donald Trump has said he plans to scrap the upon election.

Past winners of the Tipperary Peace Prize include Nelson Mandela.

The choice of Mr Kerry has been met by opposition from some peace groups.

Galway Alliance Against War, the Irish Anti-War Movement, the Peace and Neutrality Alliance, Shannonwatch and Veterans for Peace also intend to hold protests at Shannon Airport and at Aherlow House Hotel in Tipperary
where the award ceremony will take place.

Speaking on behalf of the five organisations, Edward Horgan of Veterans for Peace questioned what peace Mr Kerry had achieved.

“The award of peace prizes should be based on truth, integrity and justification” continued Dr Horgan. “Unfortunately, this is not always the case."

“John Kerry and the United States of America claim to be defending the civilised world against Islamic terrorists and dictators” said Jim Roche of the Irish Anti War Movement. ”Yet the reality is that the United States has killed many multiples of the numbers killed by Islamic terrorists in its so-called War on Terror."

Speaking to CNN's David Axelrod, Mr Kerry refused to rule out the possibility that the Obama administration would unilaterally release its own framework for peace in Israel and Palestine before leaving office.

He also cited Israel's continued construction of West Bank settlements as corrosive to the prospects of Middle East peace.

"I'm not going to get into intent, but the fact is that it is a problem and it runs contrary to American policy under Republican and Democratic presidents," he said.