Irish American Information Service

04/21/04 14:53 EST

Talks in the review of the Good Friday Agreement are to begin again next Tuesday, the Northern Ireland secretary has said.

Paul Murphy confirmed the date after he held talks with Irish Foreign Minister Brian Cowen to discuss a report into paramilitary violence today.

He said the governments would be writing to all the political parties in the next few days.

The meeting in London came a day after Mr Murphy's announcement that financial sanctions would be imposed on Sinn Fein and the Progressive Unionist Party after the publishing of the Independent Monitoring Commission's report yesterday.

Mr Murphy and Mr Cowen met at a session of the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference.

Mr Cowen said: "We all know where everything is at. We have to get into a dialogue, get into a political discourse, which will address these issues. We are all committed to making this process work. There is a problem with one side of the community about whether paramilitary activity can be brought to an end and whether we can see partnership government put in place to everyone's satisfaction."

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said he believed the report's findings would benefit his party on the ground in the North.

Speaking in Dublin today, he said he had been in contact with Irish Premier Bertie Ahern's officials about a urgent meeting to discuss this latest development in the peace process.

SDLP leader Mark Durkan also met British Prime Minister Tony Blair at Downing Street today and described the talks as "good."

The SDLP leader described the International Monitoring Commission and Cory reports as a "watershed in the [peace] process".

Following an an hour of talks in Downing Street with Mr Blair, Mr Durkan told journalists: "We made the point to him that . . . . those people who were in denial about collusion on the one hand or ongoing paramilitary activity on the other, can no longer escape in denial and evasion in the way that they have in the past. So the road markings of truth are starting to be painted into this process again and it is about time."

"Those road markings have to stay there very clearly if we are going to move forward on a moral basis to making sure that we achieve an end of paramilitarism, that we achieve a basis for moving forward politically on a credible and clear and consistent way."

Mr Durkan said the kind of sanctions threatened yesterday in the IMC report against politicians with alleged links to paramilitaries would "not have an impact in any real sense on the people they are meant to act upon".

He added: "There is a danger of a vacuum if people decide that because the IMC report spelt out a lot of truths yesterday that it was a bad day for the process. I don't think that a day when truths were told and spelt out is a bad day for this process."

Mr Durkan said he had pressed Mr Blair on calls for a public inquiry into the loyalist murder more than 15 years ago of Belfast lawyer Patrick Finucane.

Mr Durkan said: "If the Prime Minister thought that Cory and the Finucane case was off his desk, he knows now that it certainly isn't off his desk ... We are not letting up until he and his Government deliver on the full and clear promise that they gave us that if Judge Cory recommended a public inquiry into the Finucane case, there would be a public inquiry."

He said reports by retired Canadian Judge Peter Cory and the Independent Monitoring Commission had brought truth back into the process.

Mr Durkan said financial sanctions resulting from the IMC report would not impact on those they were designed to, or impress those they were supposed to impress.

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