It is significant that President Joe Biden's visit next week is being framed by the White House as not only marking the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement but also emphasising America's willingness to invest in our economy.
President Biden will land in Northern Ireland on Tuesday for two days of engagements centred around Belfast. He will then travel to Dublin, Louth and Mayo.
Any visit by a US president is hugely symbolic, and in President Biden's case it is further amplified by his authentic Irish roots and a decades-long interest in our people, politics and peace process.
The north has undoubtedly experienced vast change since 1998 and while President Biden wants to acknowledge that "tremendous progress" he will also bring with him a message that will "underscore the readiness of the United States to support Northern Ireland's vast economic potential to the benefit of all communities".
The enormously positive aspects of President Biden's visit are in stark contrast with the fact that a centrepiece of the Good Friday Agreement - the Stormont Assembly and Executive - is suspended.
US administrations have played a vital role in our politics at key times in the past. Though it may be overly optimistic, many will hope that President Biden may be able to persuade the DUP to end its boycott.