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Blair and Ahern in Northern Ireland assembly talks
RTÉ ^ | 4 October 2003

Posted on 10/04/2003 2:54:24 PM PDT by anotherview

Blair and Ahern in NI assembly talks
October 4, 2003

(19:05) The Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, has held a brief meeting with the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, to review progress in the the intensive series of talks on Northern Ireland.

Speaking afterwards, on the margins of the European Council session in Rome, Mr Ahern said they want to see elections before christmas, and to see an executive with cross community support up and running.

The Toiseach added that he wants to hear David Trimble say that he will work the executive positively if these matters happen.

The Sinn Fein and Ulster Unionist party leaders held another round of face to face talks in an attempt to find agreement which would revive the Stormont power sharing government.

Gerry Adams and David Trimble were accompnaied at the talks by Martin Mc.Guinness and Michael Mc.Gimpsey. Afterwards a SF spokesman said the two leaders had agreed to meet again, probably early next week.

The Ulster Unionists have said the joint declaration did not provide a satisfactory basis for progress in the peace process, and called for radical changes to the Irish and British governments plans.

They welcomed the proposal for an international monitoring body to scrutinise para-military activity, but are not happy with plans to devolve policing and justice powers to the Stormont Assembly.

The Ulster Unionists statement, seem by some as a tactical move by the leadership to assuage dissidents, will feature in todays discussions in Rome between Mr Blair and Mr Ahern, although the two governments have already said they will stick by the joint declaration, which they believe provides the basis for political progress.

In an interview with the Irish Times today, the Taoiseach has said he now believes there will be a political breakthrough during the next fortnight leading to assembly elections in November.

While agreement between Unionists and Sinn Fein has not been reached, efforts to achieve movement are continuing.

Another meeting between Gerry Adams and David Trimble, their sixth in the past few weeks, expected to take place over the weekend.

TOPICS: Breaking News; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: ahern; blair; europeancouncil; gerryadams; northernireland; sinnfein; trimble

1 posted on 10/04/2003 2:54:24 PM PDT by anotherview
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