Irish Examiner> Breaking News> Sinn Féin meets ceasefire commission

Sinn Féin meets ceasefire commission
16/01/2004 - 11:19:28

Sinn Féin is meeting today with a new commission set up to monitor the IRA’s ceasefire.

After Sinn Féin warning it was unlikely to meet with the Independent Monitoring Commission, both sides are due to sit down for talks in Belfast.

But a party spokesman insisted it would use the meeting to explain its opposition to the body, which he claimed was set up outside the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

The IMC was criticised last week by senior Sinn Féin member Alex Maskey.

He was part of today’s delegation, which also included Sinn Féin Assembly Group leader Conor Murphy.

A spokesman said: “We will put very politely to the commission today why we are opposed to it and will not work with it.”

The four-member commission was set up by the British and Irish governments last year amid unionist concerns about Sinn Féin serving in government while the IRA remained active.

The commission is also due to meet Northern Ireland’s largest party after last November’s Assembly election, Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionists.

Sinn Féin has been fiercely critical of the IMC and the British and Irish governments, claiming the commission is outside the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

Mr Maskey argued last week that the commission would be a magnet for complaints from those seeking to undermine the Good Friday Agreement.

The commission’s members are former Northern Ireland Speaker Lord Alderdice; retired Irish civil servant Joe Brosnan; John Grieve, who headed Metropolitan Police’s anti-terrorist unit; and Richard Kerr, a former deputy director of the CIA in the United States.

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