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Britain's Queen bids farewell to Irish president

Friday, April 11, 2014 - 00:55

April 11 - Britain's Queen Elizabeth waves goodbye to Irish President Michael Higgins as his state visit to the UK draws to a close. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: President Michael Higgins, the first Irish head of state to make a state visit to Britain, has been given an official farewell at the Windsor Castle on Friday by Britain's Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh. Higgins, whose office is largely ceremonial, shook hands with the Queen at the Windsor Castle courtyard with guards of honour standing to attention nearby. Higgins' visit crowns a big improvement in historically fraught relations between Dublin and its former colonial master. Clashes over British-ruled Northern Ireland saw more than 3,600 killed from the 1960s onward until a 1998 peace deal largely ended the conflict between Catholic groups wanting the province to become part of the Irish republic and Protestant groups determined to keep it within the United Kingdom. During his visit, Higgins addressed both houses of Britain's parliament on Tuesday (April 8), a privilege only accorded to a few foreign leaders including the late South African President Nelson Mandela and U.S. President Barack Obama. In his speech to lawmakers in parliament's ornate Royal Gallery, Higgins described that 1998 agreement as a key milestone but said there was more to be done. Despite being at peace, Northern Ireland remains deeply divided and still sees sporadic outbreaks of violence. Higgins, who said ties between Ireland and Britain were now "strong and resolute", discussed Northern Ireland during a meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday (April 9).

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Britain's Queen bids farewell to Irish president

Friday, April 11, 2014 - 00:55