» Monday, December 13, 2004

Northern Ireland

Asked to characterise the Prime Minister’s talks with Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman (PMOS) told journalists that after last week we were at the stage of testing where the parties were, there would be further meetings over the next few days. Given that the two parties parties, rightly or wrongly, won’t talk to each other, that was our position. The two governments had put forward what they thought was a compromise position last week, whereby photographs would be taken but not published until the Executive was set up. That had been rejected by the IRA. We had to therefore find out people’s views on that. We had heard Sinn Fein’s view. No doubt we would get the DUP’s view as well. Asked if it was frustrating having to deliver messages to each party, the PMOS said that on the issue of Northern Ireland you didn’t last too long if you got easily frustrated. The Government recognised the reality as it was and acted accordingly. There was no point getting frustrated. You had do whatever was necessary to advance the peace process. The reality at the moment was that one party would not talk to the other.

Briefing took place at 15:45 | Search for related news

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