Nobel peace laureate and former leader of Irish nationalist Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDPL) John Hume has died on Monday, according to a statement from his former party.

“We are deeply saddened to announce that John passed away peacefully in the early hours of the morning after a short illness,” a statement from the SDLP said.

Hume was born in Northern Ireland in 1937 and he was regarded as an important figure in recent political history in the region.

Hume, as the leader of the SDLP, was one of the key architects of the 1998 Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement that ended decades of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland.

He involved in 1994 peace talks with then-Irish Prime Minister Albert Reynolds and then-leader of Irish nationalists Sinn Fein, Gerry Adams.

Following the historic meeting, Hume, Reynolds and Adams issued a joint statement to say they were totally and absolutely “committed” to a democratic and peaceful method of resolving the Northern Ireland conflict.

Hume, alongside then-UUP leader David Trimble were presented the Nobel Peace Prize in 1998 in recognition of their contribution to the peace process in Northern Ireland.

Hume also played a key role in the negotiations that led to the establishment of power-sharing government in Northern Ireland.

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