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The Boston Globe

Metro

Boston signs sister city agreement with Belfast

The mayors of the two cities signed the agreement at a breakfast event sponsored today by the Irish American Partnership, Mayor Martin Walsh’s office said in a statement.

Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff/File

The mayors of the two cities signed the agreement at a breakfast event sponsored today by the Irish American Partnership, Mayor Martin Walsh’s office said in a statement.

For the first time since 2001, Boston has a new sister city — Belfast in Northern Ireland.

The mayors of the two cities signed the agreement at a breakfast event sponsored today by the Irish American Partnership, Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s office said in a statement. The sister city program is independent of City Hall and relies on volunteers to succeed, according to Walsh’s office.

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“Together, Boston and Belfast will strive to foster educational exchanges, promote cultural understanding, and stimulate economic development through our new sister city relationship,’’ Walsh said in a statement. “It truly speaks to our historic connection, genuine ties, and deeply linked heritage.”

Belfast’s Lord Mayor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, in a statement, said the agreement links the Boston, the “Irish-American capital of America’’ with his city, which he described as the “fastest growing knowledge economy of Europe, birthplace of the Titantic, home of [television series] ‘Game of Thrones,’ and a world-leader in peace building.’’

The other sister cities and the years they became linked to Boston are: Kyoto, Japan (1959); Strasbourg, France (1960); Barcelona, Spain (1980); Hangzhou, China (1982); Padua, Italy (1983); Melbourne, Australia (1985); Taipei, Taiwan (1996); Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana (2001).

According to the Walsh administration, the agreement, among other things, commits both cities to identifying ways to “generate new initiatives to further nurture economic, social, cultural, and faith-based relationships.

John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.
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