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King pays tribute to Jean Kennedy Smith

Congressman Peter King and Jean Kennedy Smith.

By Irish Echo Staff

Congressman Peter King has paid tribute to the late Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith.

In a statement, the Long Island Republican said: "The recent passing of Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith marked the close of an era. Jean Kennedy Smith was not just the last surviving sibling of JFK. She was an historic figure in her own right.

"As Ambassador to Ireland during the 1990’s she played an integral role during the Irish Peace Process which led to the Good Friday Agreement ending centuries of war and bloodshed.

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"I had the privilege of working with her during that process and saw up close her strength of purpose and her ingenuity. Much of her work was behind the scenes but her contributions were invaluable. She met with representatives from both sides of the warring communities and fought back against pro-British elements in our own State Department who repeatedly attempted to undercut her and the Peace Process. I was proud to stand up for her during those State Department battles.

"Besides the policy engagements, Rosemary and I met with Jean on numerous occasions and it was always great to be with her. Intelligent, witty, strong willed but unassuming, a wonderful woman. It was my privilege to know her and call her my friend."