Us Senator Good Friday Agreement

A senior Irish government official spoke for a lot when he told me that there would have been no peace agreement on Good Friday in 1998 without George Mitchell as director. One hesitates to speculate on possible alternatives: perhaps a time server among the great and the good British, who would have no chance of winning the trust of the Irish nationalists. Alternatively, there may have been someone from America or continental Europe who was acceptable to nationalists, but who did not have the dignity, charm, and diplomatic abilities to convince the unionists that he was an honest broker. Richard Neal, a long-time spokesman for Irish interests, is part of this German-American leadership. He chairs the influential Ways and Means Committee in Congress, which will oversee any trade deal between the US and Britain after Brexit. He also recently reaffirmed his view that “any trade agreement between the United States and Britain must preserve the Good Friday Agreement.” During the negotiations on the Withdrawal Agreement, some claimed that a hard border between NI and the Republic of Ireland would violate the Good Friday Agreement. Mitchell was among those considered by Al Gore as a running mate for his 2000 presidential bid, but Gore chose Joe Lieberman. [23] If Mitchell had been nominated and won the Democratic ticket this year, he would have been the first Arab American to serve as vice president of the United States and only the second vice president of Maine after Hannibal Hamlin. He was also mentioned in 2000 and 2004 as a potential foreign minister for democratic government, due to his role as head of the Senate and the Good Friday Accords. But US spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said there was “no chance” that a trade deal between Britain and the US would go through the US Congress if the UK violates international agreements and undermines the Good Friday agreement. Senator Mitchell earned the respect of all parties for his skill and patience in mediating the pioneering Good Friday agreement in April 1998. This agreement was a historic compromise.

For the first time, the two governments have agreed with parties from all sides of the divide on a new political framework for Northern Ireland. While U.S. support for the Good Friday deal is largely bipartisan, there are also many political things behind Pelosi`s statements. They reflect not only the commitment to protecting the agreement, but also the complex interactions of political and diplomatic actors activated by Brexit on both sides of the Atlantic. In addition to dealing with recalcitrant politicians who oppose any form of agreement, he has shown skill in dealing with allies who can sometimes be more difficult than their opponents. The British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Dr Mo Mowlam, praised his technique: “He would never say no to my idea because he knew I would do it anyway. But he said, “Now, Mo, have you thought about it?” and ten minutes later, I had changed my mind. Mitchell took a simple step that no one had really tried before: he set a deadline to reach an agreement. If it wasn`t done before Easter, I got out of here, that was his message. Like the imminent execution, it wonderfully concentrated the heads of the parties.

I`m sure there was an element of not wanting to abandon George, but more importantly, I guess there was a fear of not being unmasked in front of the world as idiots unable to answer people`s cry for peace. Less mentioned is the administration`s support for the “peace dividend” by president George W. Bush in the decisive years following the agreement. . . .