The announcement of a joint visit has been spoken of for some weeks and confirmation has been heavily contingent on the current state of first Minister Paisley’s health.
The White House confirmed the visit Wednesday. A statement said that President Bush would welcome Paisley and McGuinness in the White House on Friday, December 7.
“Over the past several years, the United States has actively supported peace efforts in Northern Ireland, which culminated in the formation of a unified Northern Ireland government,” The White House statement said.
“This visit marks the first time that Dr. Paisley and Martin McGuinness will visit the United States together since taking office. The President looks forward to congratulating the two leaders on overcoming years of violent conflict, and for taking the historic path toward a peaceful and prosperous future for all the people of Northern Ireland,” the statement concluded.