Ahern calls for talks to continue

03/02/2005 - 15:23:04

Bertie Ahern has called for a period for everybody to seek engagement on the outstanding issues of the Good Friday Agreement.

He said: “I don’t read the IRA statement in a negative fashion. They are saying what is a fact, that negotiations have broken down. Everything is off the table and that’s the normal course of negotiation.”

Mr Ahern said the main objective was to bring an end to criminality and paramilitarism and resolve decommissioning, as specified in paragraph 13 of the Joint Declaration.

Minister for Justice Michael McDowell demanded that the republican movement own up to crimes and abandon all criminality and paramilitary.

He said: “They claim that anything that they do on the authority of the Army Council is not a crime.”

Mr McDowell said the Government needed a clear and unequivocal commitment from Sinn Féin and the IRA that they would commit to a exclusively democratic process from now on.

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