Page last updated at 12:42 GMT, Saturday, 13 March 2010

McGuinness sets off for US trip

Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness
Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness are visiting the US

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness is flying to the United States later on Saturday to begin his St Patrick's Day trip.

Mr McGuinness and First Minister Peter Robinson plan to discuss a number of "potential investment opportunities" with US based firms next week.

The ministers will start their visit with a series of meetings in Chicago.

They will visit Washington DC for further meetings including one with US President Barack Obama on 17 March.

Talks will also take place with US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

Mr McGuinness said he was confident "jobs would flow" to Northern Ireland as a result of the US visit.

"Over the course of next week's trip, our comprehensive programme will see us meet with a wide range of potential investors and political leaders," Mr McGuinness said.

"We shall spend our time promoting and selling the benefits of investing in the north.

"I have no doubt that, as with previous trips, this trip will lead to investment and the creation of jobs in the future."

Last year, the deputy first minister met President Obama in the White House alongside Mr Robinson in a show of political unity.

Their trip came just weeks after the dissident republican shootings of two soldiers and a policeman.

Sappers Mark Quinsey, 23, from Birmingham and Patrick Azimkar, 21, from Wood Green, London, were killed at Massareene Army base in Antrim on 7 March.

Constable Stephen Carroll, who was 48 and a married man from Banbridge, was shot dead two days later in Craigavon.

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