POLICY Statement

April 25, 2023: ATFL Celebrates The Leadership Of Sen. George Mitchell On 25th Anniversary Of The Good Friday Agreement

April 25, 2023

The American Task Force on Lebanon celebrates the leadership of former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell for his leadership in negotiating the Good Friday Agreement.

Senator Mitchell represented the state of Maine in the US Senate from 1980 to 1995 and served as US Senate Majority leader from 1989-1995. Of Lebanese ancestry, Mitchell was the inaugural recipient of ATFL’s Philip C. Habib Award for Distinguished Public Service in 1989.

Mitchell recently recalled that 3,500 people were killed during the period known as “the Troubles”, resulting in another 50,000 injured.

He was appointed US Special Envoy for Northern Ireland by former President Bill Clinton and began chairing multi-party talks in June 1996. A final agreement was reached 22 months later, in April 1998. President Clinton awarded Mitchell the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work in Northern Ireland in 1999.

Years later, Mitchell remarked, “[t]here’s no such thing as a conflict that cannot be ended. Conflicts are created, conducted and sustained by human beings. They can be ended by human beings.”

He traveled to Northern Ireland this week where he and other world leaders commemorated the agreement.

Mitchell was born to an Irish father who was adopted by a Lebanese family and a mother who immigrated to Maine from Lebanon.

“George Mitchell’s leadership in the Good Friday Agreement is a historic example of positive US leadership in the world,” said ATFL President Ed Gabriel. “He served with great distinction as US Senate Majority Leader, and reached across the aisle to ensure that US interests were put ahead of party, in passing important energy and climate legislation. We are very proud that George is one of the most accomplished Americans who has served our country with such honor and distinction,” he added.

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