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Kerry on New Representative for Northern Ireland Issues

21 October 2014

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, D.C.
October 21, 2014

STATEMENT BY SECRETARY KERRY
Senator Gary Hart to Play Diplomatic Role for State Department

I have asked Senator Gary Hart, one of our country's most respected and accomplished senior statesmen, creative and strategic thinkers, and my longtime friend who has been working with the State Department for close to two years, to also play a direct, on-the-ground diplomatic role.

Whether it's through his 12 years in the Senate, or his work on the U.S. Commission on National Security in the 21st Century, Gary is known as a problem-solver, a brilliant analyst, and someone capable of thinking at once tactically, strategically, and practically. He's been engaged already in the intellectual side of our government's foreign policy during this Administration, whether as chairman of the State Department's International Security Advisory Board, or as chairman of the Threat Reduction Advisory Council at the Department of Defense. Now we're fortunate that he's agreed to devote some additional time to engage in the tough and patient work of diplomacy as my Personal Representative, including on issues related to Northern Ireland. He does so with my confidence and trust.

Senator Hart has spent many weeks in Ireland and Northern Ireland over the past 30 years. He has listened and spoken to the people of Northern Ireland, and he knows many of the leaders. I’ve asked Senator Hart to support the parties in Northern Ireland as they enter a new round of talks to achieve a lasting peace. We welcome these new talks, supported by the United Kingdom and Ireland. I am confident Senator Hart will help the parties strengthen the institutions and economy of Northern Ireland, as well as reinvigorate efforts to promote a shared society. Our Consul General in Belfast Greg Burton will serve as Senator Hart’s deputy for his Northern Ireland work. Senator Hart expects to visit Belfast before the end of the month.