Royal Watch News
Queen Elizabetg making 'significant step' with Northern Ireland meeting
Jun 25, 2012, 12:01 GMT
Queen Elizabeth is making a 'very significant step' by meeting former terrorist Martin McGuinness on Wednesday (27.05.12).
The British monarch will make an official visit to Northern Ireland and is scheduled to meet the onetime IRA commander, who is now the Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland.
The move is controversial as Martin is part of the Sinn Fein political party, who believe Northern Ireland should have political independence from Britain.
However, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams believes the meeting is a 'gesture of respect' and an attempt to move 'beyond rhetoric to reach out' to unionists.
He told BBC Sunday Politics: 'It is a very significant step and I think it may bring us into a different phase, into a new platform which can be built upon.
'It's good in terms of national reconciliation, it's good in terms of conflict resolution, and while there are still elements here who don't engage in talks and stand back from embracing the peace process, I think it perhaps opens the door to them also.'
Sinn Fein agreed to the unprecedented meeting with the queen following a special meeting of the party in Dublin last week.
He added: 'It's part of the process of moving Northern Ireland forward.
'It's important that Her Majesty feels welcomed in Northern Ireland, it's important that people recognise her position as the head of state and this is progress.
'There will be many victims of IRA terrorism who will find the encounter difficult, but the peace process is about tackling the difficult issues and making the difficult decisions.'
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