Category: Archive

Governments set late April for intensive talks

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

The talks will come shortly after the Independent Monitoring Commission reports on the status of the paramilitary ceasefires, which is expected to conclude that both the IRA and loyalist groups have broken their truces.
Republicans believe that the British prime minister, Tony Blair, and Taoiseach Bertie Ahern will try to use this report to pressure Sinn Fein on further concessions from the IRA.
Senior republican sources, however, have strongly resisted claims the IRA is to blame for the stalemate and said there’s no chance of further decommissioning or any further commitments without significant movement by the two governments.
At an Easter Rising commemoration in County Tyrone, Martin McGuinness, the party’s leading negotiator, accused the two governments of repeatedly “squandering” opportunities.
“No one should underestimate the depth of the crisis facing us at this time,” he said, claiming senior British civil servants were waging war against the peace process and the Good Friday agreement.
“The only person that can face down this resistance is Tony Blair,” McGuinness said. “He has the influence. It is now time for him to use it. Blair says that if the process fails to move forward then it will move backward. Let me assure him there is only one direction that we are going and that’s forward.
“Both in the Joint Declaration and the events of last October, Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern committed to agreements covering a wide range of issues. There was to be immediate and substantial progress on all of these. There was none.
“The DUP is now demanding that the IRA publicly surrender before it will even sit down and talk to Sinn F

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