Irish leader guest of queen on state visit to UK

LONDON (AP) - Ireland's president is being feted by Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle, on a state visit heavy with symbolism for two countries with a tangled and troubled history.

President Michael D. Higgins' visit is the first by an Irish head of state since Ireland threw off British rule a century ago, and a sign of how Northern Ireland's peace process has transformed relations between two one-time enemies.

Higgins says that while it was impossible to "wipe the slate clean" about the past, relations between the two countries were good.

Higgins will address Britain's Parliament during his three-day trip, which includes a banquet Tuesday evening at the castle, hosted by the queen. Among the guests will be Martin McGuinness, once a senior IRA commander, now Northern Ireland's deputy leader.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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