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Obama Calls Peace in Northern Ireland Blueprint for World Conflicts

U.S. President Barack Obama has called peace in Northern Ireland a "blueprint" for those living in conflict zones around the world.

During remarks Monday to a young audience in Belfast, Mr. Obama said "The terms of peace may be negotiated by leaders, but the fate of peace is up to you."

The American president arrived in Belfast Monday after an overnight flight from Washington. He is attending a G8 summit Monday and Tuesday, likely to be dominated by the U.S. decision to arm Syrian rebels.

The summit, at a Northern Irish resort , will bring together leaders of the world's top economies.

Mr. Obama meets Monday morning with British Prime Minister David Cameron ahead of the summit.

The U.S. leader also plans to meet Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin for talks on the Syrian conflict. The Russian leader has supported the government of embattled Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

The G8 summit will also address efforts to boost the world's sluggish economies.

The G8 countries account for 50 percent of the world's economic output. But to varying degrees, they have struggled to emerge from the depths of the global recession of 2008 and 2009.

White House officials said last week that President Obama intends to brief the other seven leaders at the summit about the U.S. plan to arm Syrian rebels. The U.S. decided last week to send weapons to the rebels, declaring it had evidence that Mr. Assad's forces have used chemical weapons.

The White House also said Mr. Obama will speak about his continuing support for the U.S. National Security Agency's surveillance of telephone records of U.S. citizens and the monitoring of foreign nationals' use of the Internet.


1.) U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama --
"..And standing here with all of you today, I have never felt more optimistic, let me tell you. Because time and again, I have seen young people like all of you choosing to work together, choosing to lift each other up, choosing to leave behind the conflicts and prejudices of the past and create a bright future for us all."

2.) U.S. President Barack Obama --
"Beyond these shores - right now, in scattered corners of the world, there are people living in the grip of conflict, ethnic conflict, religious conflict, tribal conflicts - and they know something better is out there. And they are groping to find a way to discover how to move beyond the heavy hand of history. Put aside the violence. They are studying what you're doing, and wondering, perhaps if Northern Ireland can achieve peace we can too. So you are their blueprint to follow. You are their proof of what is possible. Because hope is contagious. They are watching to see what you do next."

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