Clinton ready to help end Northern Ireland’s political stalemate

A former aide to Bill Clinton has said that the former US president 'cares very deeply' about the Northern Ireland peace process
A former aide to Bill Clinton has said that the former US president 'cares very deeply' about the Northern Ireland peace process

Former US president Bill Clinton has a genuine willingness to help resolve the political crisis at Stormont, a former senior aide has said.

Nancy Soderberg said the Northern Ireland peace process was a large part of Mr Clinton’s legacy during his term in office and is “something he cares very deeply about,” she told the BBC’s Sunday News.

Former US President Bill Clinton: (AP Photo/Jack Plunkett)

Former US President Bill Clinton: (AP Photo/Jack Plunkett)

“And if there’s a way he can help, of course he would be willing to,” Ms Soderberg said.

Talks involving the political parties have been taking place following a row sparked by a police assessment that members of the Provisional IRA were involved in murdering Kevin McGuigan in Belfast last month.

The PSNI chief constable later elaborated saying he did not believe the paramilitary organisation was still engaged in terrorism.

Mr Clinton’s offer to help was made public by Irish prime minister Enda Kenny, who met the former president in New York last week.

Meanwhile, NI Secretary of State Theresa Villiers said on Sunday: “Finding a way to resolve the two issues on the talks agenda will be very difficult.

“But I believe the parties have established a sound basis on which to take forward discussions with greater intensity and focus this week.

“The talks resume tomorrow (Monday) to discuss the impact of paramilitary organisations.”

Ms Villiers added: “These organisations should never have existed in the first place and should not exist today.”