Category: Archive

Reiss to join North talks

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

All the political parties in the North have been sent a joint letter from Irish Foreign Minister Brian Cowen and British Secretary of State Paul Murphy with details on meetings set for the Sept. 16-18.
Three phases of talks are now planned.
There will be crucial smaller meetings held at Stormont in the days
prior to the inclusive talks where details on how each party wants to
proceed in the effort to return power from London and back to the
North’s elected Assembly.
Just how Amb. Reiss will participate in the process is as yet unclear.
Reiss has recently come under pressure from several Irish-American groups to prove the Bush administration is seriously engaged in supporting the peace process.
Reiss recently held a briefing in Washington for Irish American groups and activists Reiss during which he defended the Bush administration’s efforts to assist the peace process.
Reiss followed up with attendees of the briefing with
further assurances of his understanding and commitment to the issue.
In one follow-up, an e-mail to Fr. Sean McManus, president of the Irish National Caucus, Reiss outlined his views on why Orange
Order members participate in annual parades and marches in the North
during the summer marching season.
“Obviously, the idea is to provoke, intimidate and champion their
‘superiority.’ We’ve seen this behavior down through the ages, with
many groups and many ethnicities. This is an old story that does not
improve with the retelling,” Reiss stated to McManus in the e-mail.
In Dublin, the taoiseach emphasized the need for success at the talks planned in September.
He said during a radio interview: “The British election looks like
being next summer and that means we are unlikely to see progress in
“If we don’t crack it in September, I think that’s what we’re facing and that ultimately will turn into a lot of tension in a lot of areas.
“It’s not that I’m optimistic about September, but I’m afraid to be
pessimistic,” Ahern added.

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