President Bush stated his support for the suspension of the Northern Ireland executive on Monday. He telephoned British Prime Minister Tony Blair while aboard Air Force One to discuss the suspension.
“I support the difficult but necessary decision today,” Bush said in statement issued from the White House before he departed for a domestic campaign fundraising day trip.
“The United States stands ready to assist their efforts,” he said. “I appeal to everyone in Northern Ireland to recognize the great benefits that the agreement has already secured,” the president said of the Good Friday peace accord voted into place four years ago.
Bush’s statement of support came against the backdrop of a letter to his point man on the North, the State Department’s Dr. Richard Haass, signed by the leaders of a number of Irish-American organizations. The letter expressed strong criticism of the suspension and urged the U.S. to oppose the move.
“It is with great regret that we in Irish America are now witnessing the
attempted destruction of the Good Friday agreement by the Ulster Unionist
Party,” the letter stated.
The letter did not refer to the recent seizure of files from Sinn F