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First Minister reinforces bonds with Northern Ireland

Seven years after signing a historic agreement to work together to secure better deals from Westminster, the First Minister Alex Salmond and the First Minister and the deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland have pledged that both administrations will continue in their collaboration to push for further progress.

At a meeting held in Stormont this morning, the First Minister, the First Minister of Northern Ireland Peter Robinson and deputy First Minster Martin McGuinness agreed that a new chapter has been opened in their histories and bonds between the two nations further strengthened.

The First Minister said:

“There is added poignancy to this meeting today as it is taking place on the day after the former First Minister the Rt Rev Ian Paisley’s memorial. It was in 2007 when I signed our original agreement with both him and his deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

“It also continues to be a matter of considerable importance that my first speech outside my own country as First Minister of Scotland was in Northern Ireland.

“Then we pledged to work together to secure better deals from Westminster on tourism, higher education, transport and the pursuit of a competitive economy. We agreed to forge stronger links to our shared diaspora, to build bridges with the European Union and to influence the political and economic landscape within these islands.

“Today, while progress has been made, the impetus for further change must continue. My message then as it is now is that Scotland is moving forward and as we in Scotland embark on an exciting new chapter of our history, we will continue to value the friendship and support of our colleagues in Northern Ireland.”


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