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Radio Remarks on the Northern Ireland Peace Accord Referendum

May 20, 1998

Tomorrow the people of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland have an opportunity to join hope to history. I know that as you go to the polls and consider the merits of the April 10 accord, you will reflect on the past three decades, so marred by hatred and bloodshed, fighting and fear. I hope you will also reflect on the decades to come and the opportunity you now have in your hands to build a lasting peace for yourselves and your children. This Friday, you can turn the common tragedy of Northern Ireland's past into a shared triumph for the future.

As you face the future, you can count on America. We were blessed with the arrival of your ancestors and relatives who helped to build our Nation. We want to return the favor with trade and investment, with friendship and partnership. But to those of any party or persuasion who would revert to violence, you must know that you will find no friends in America.

To everyone voting tomorrow, let me say, you can do nothing to erase the past, but you can do everything to build the future. The world is with you, but the choice is yours. May you make the right choice for peace, for your children, for your future. And may God bless you all.

NOTE: The remarks were recorded at approximately 11:35 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House on May 20 for later broadcast, and they were released by the Office of the Press Secretary on May 21. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

William J. Clinton, Radio Remarks on the Northern Ireland Peace Accord Referendum Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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