Category: Archive

Congress’ Friends: North remains ‘great interest’

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

The group’s annual St. Patrick’s Day statement lauded the “steadfast commitment” on the part of both president Bush and Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to “maintain U.S.-Ireland relations and Irish issues as key elements of our foreign policy agendas.”
“Northern Ireland remains an area of great interest,” the statement said
By any objective measure, life in Northern Ireland was considerably better for its people than it was a decade ago but it was now time to consolidate peace and political progress.
“The political process cannot be stopped and started when disagreements arise. It must be enduring and have both the allegiance and support of all the parties,” the Friends said.
While all paramilitary activity had to cease, the political priority was the success of the good Friday agreement.
Unionist parties, most prominently the DUP and UUP, needed to commit themselves to the full and continuous operation of all of the political institutions of the agreement, according to the Friends.
“This includes sharing power in a Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive with all political parties whose mandate gives them a right of participation, and full support for and participation in, the all-island institutions of the Agreement,” the statement argued.
The Friends also urged the completion of the program of policing change outlined in the Patten Report. And in this regard the group leaned on Sinn F

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