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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Belfast Economic Talks

LONDONDERRY, Northern Ireland () -- U.S. Commerce Secretary Ron Brown flew to Belfast on Tuesday for the launch of a showpiece conference that could be overshadowed by Irish republicans' charges of a British snub.

Brown, heading a U.S. delegation to a two-day international investment conference, designed to give the British-ruled province an economic spur after 25 years of guerrilla war, said the meetings would discuss "economic opportunities for all of the people of Northern Ireland and the border counties."

Sinn Fein, the political wing of the IRA, is planning a protest, claiming it is being treated as a second-class party at the conference. It was invited to participate for just two-and-a-half hours.