Ambassador Richard Haass, the administration’s point man on the North, told reporters in a briefing last week that the UUP’s deadline “will increase the sense of crisis, increase polarization and undermine
Haass did endorse the idea of a paramilitary monitor for the North. He said an American was being considered among others for the position by Britain’s Northern secretary, John Reid.
Haass delivered his briefing in Washington last Wednesday following a recent trip to Dublin, Belfast and London.
Sinn Fein has voiced strong opposition to the creation of such a monitor. Haass downplayed their concerns and said he found there to be “broad-based support” for the monitor.
He did, however, caution that the peace process would not be able to continue to make strides if all parties were not “inside the tent.”
There would not, he said, be “any prospect of making the Northern Ireland political process work without including Sinn Fein.”
The White House also believed that Dublin and Washington are in agreement on the upcoming United Nations resolution on Iraq.
“We’ve be on the same page,” said Haass, who is also the State Department’s director of policy and planning when asked about Ireland’s vote on the UN Security Council.
“We’ve made clear our desire for a new resolution and we have very much looked to Ireland for support,” Haass said.