It was a case of another day, another city for the European farewell tour of President George Bush. But the final stop was in Northern Ireland, where the symbolism was rife as the President of the United States stood side-by-side with former IRA member and Sinn Fein representative Martin McGuiness, now Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland.
President Bush told him, and the new First Minister Peter Robinson, that they were an example to the rest of the world.
“Northern Ireland is a success story,” said Bush. “Obviously there is more work to be done, but the progress made to date was unimaginable ten years ago.”
Iraqi politicians have even toured Northern Ireland in a bid to learn from the peace pact there.
In their two days together, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and President Bush had concentrated on ongoing flashpoints, like Afghanistan, and potential flashpoints like Iran. Both floated the prospect of new sanctions on Tehran if it doesn’t stop enriching uranium.