Joining Her Majesty the Queen for a State Visit to Ireland, Prime Minister David Cameron has said the event “set the seal” on an already very strong relationship between the two countries.
The PM held a brief meeting with Taoiseach Enda Kenny in central Dublin before the pair attended a State Banquet in the Queen’s honour.
Mr Cameron said the Queen’s State Visit to Ireland has shown enormous sensitivity to past issues and problems as well as the opportunities for the future.
The PM said:
I think this visit will set the seal on what is already a very strong relationship between our two countries, but a relationship I believe that can get even stronger still.
Speaking at the State Banquet last night the Queen offered her deep sympathy to everyone who has suffered in centuries of conflict between Britain and Ireland.
In an address in Dublin Castle, the Queen spoke of the painful legacy of the past and the need to remember all those whose lives have been affected.
It is a sad and regrettable reality that through history our islands have experienced more than their fair share of heartache, turbulence and loss.
These events have touched us all, many of us personally, and are a painful legacy. We can never forget those who have died or been injured or their families.
The Queen said she was delighted to be in Dublin and, looking to the future, said together the two countries have much to celebrate.
The ties between our people, the shared values, and the economic, business and cultural links that make us so much more than neighbours, that make us firm friends and equal partners.
The Prime Minister echoed her words and said he saw the relationship between the UK and Ireland as one of two very close neighbours and close friends who share a huge amount together.
And I think there are great opportunities for us to do even more things in the future together in terms of cooperation.
Today, Mr Cameron is due to visit the Guinness brewery for a tour and attend a business meeting together with Mr Kenny.