THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
(Belfast, Northern Ireland)
For Immediate Release December 13, 2000
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT AT PHOTO OPPORTUNITY WITH
PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR, FIRST MINISTER DAVID TRIMBLE,
AND DEPUTY FIRST MINISTER SEAMUS MALLON
Stormont Parliament Buildings
Belfast, Northern Ireland
11:26 A.M. (L)
Q Mr. President, do you have any reaction to the Supreme Court's
THE PRESIDENT: Actually, I haven't had a chance to read all the
opinions yet. I think that what I'd like to focus on now is what I can do,
what the United States can do to be helpful to this ongoing peace process.
I may want to make a statement later, but I'd really like to have a chance
to read all the opinions first and then I'll probably --
Q Have you spoken to the Vice President today?
Q Mr. President, what would you say to your successor, whoever he
may be, about continued involvement in the peace process here?
THE PRESIDENT: I think it's important for the United States to
continue. I think it also has the side benefit of increasing confidence
among American investors in Northern Ireland. I saw a story yesterday in
the local press, indicating that some 600 million pounds in American
investment had come here over the last five years. That's the sort of
thing we need more of. So I hope the next President will be intimately
involved and highly supportive of the efforts that the parties are making
to carry out the Good Friday Accords and get on with it.
Q Mr. President, what progress do you think can be made today? Do
you think the peace process can be improved upon?
THE PRESIDENT: I hope so. But I think it's important for me to
listen to the leaders here and see what we can do first.
Q Would you like to return and have a role in the peace process?
THE PRESIDENT: Oh, I'd like to return, but I won't be President. And
that's -- the next American administration that will have to take up that
Q Mr. President, will your last act -- will one of your last acts
be to do something in relation to dissident Republican groups like the Real
IRA, and do something in terms of stopping them from fundraising and
organizing in the United States?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we've got this whole subject under review as
part of our ongoing look at people who use violence for political or other
means, not just here, but throughout the world. And I may have something
more to say about that later, but not now.
Q Mr. President, the two men to your left and right, in many ways,
hold the key to our future. What can be done, what can the Prime Minister
do, to bring the two men together, to secure this?
THE PRESIDENT: I don't -- I think that we'd better get on with our
talks. (Laughter.) I want to give a speech later, but I'd like to get on
with the business here.
END 11:29 A.M. (L)