boston marty walsh mayor walsh city hall office Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement that he is looking forward "to new beginnings with our 'sister,' Belfast."
Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki, Metro

Boston's first Irish mayor in 20 years has increased the Hub's ties to the Emerald Isle.

Mayor Marty Walsh on Monday signed a "sister city" agreement with Belfast Lord Mayor Mairtin O Muilleoir. Both cities will work to generate new initiatives to further economic, social, cultural and faith-based relationships, Walsh's office said.


Additionally, the agreement said that as sister cities, Boston and Belfast will promote each other to their respective business and academia sectors as locations for trade and investment, and will facilitatetrade missions and business-to-business dialogue.

Boston's Sister City program operates independently and relies on volunteers and contributions. It was started in the 1950s as a national effort to build exchanges between Americans and people of other countries.

"We look forward to new beginnings with our 'sister,' Belfast, as this formal agreement goes far beyond a declaration of ink on paper; it truly speaks to our historic connection, genuine ties and deeply linked heritage," Walsh said in a statement.

Since 1959, Boston has signed similar agreements with other cities, including Kyoto, Japan (1959);Strasbourg, France (1960);Barcelona (1980);Hangzhou, China (1982);Padua, Italy (1983);Melbourne, Australia (1985);Taipei, Taiwan (1996); andSekondi-Takoradi, Ghana (2001).

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.

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