The political leaders of Northern Ireland Wednesday hailed the election of Barack Obama as the next US president and said they wished to continue their "mutual beneficial relationship" with the United States, reported dpa.
Peter Robinson, the Protestant leader of Northern Ireland's power- sharing government, said he was looking forward to working with an Obama administration and to continuing the "mutually beneficial relationship that Northern Ireland has developed with the United States over the years."
His deputy, Martin McGuinness from the Irish republican party of Sinn Fein, said his party welcomed Obama's "commitment to furthering progress in Ireland."
US administrations have over the years played a crucial role in the political and economic development of Northern Ireland, the British province which endured 30 years of civil strife between its Catholic and Protestant communities before a peace agreement was reached in 1998.
Former Democratic US senator George Mitchell played a key mediating role in the negotiations of the peace accord, which provided the basis for the establishment of a power-sharing government between Catholics and Protestants in the province.