From: 7Pillars Partners (partnersat_private)
Date: Fri Apr 10 1998 - 09:53:58 PDT

  • Next message: 7Pillars Partners: "[IWAR] IRELAND peace agreement"

    Breaking news is that an agreement has been reached.  I believe this may be the
    rough terms, with minor differences. --MW
    Northern Ireland peace document revealed
       Friday, April 10, 1998 Published at 12:38 GMT 13:38 UK
    Northern Ireland peace document revealed
       The parties in Northern Ireland are in the final stages of considering
       the peace settlement document.
       A spokesman for Prime Minister Tony Blair said a few things still needed
       to be ironed out as the parties were tabling some amendments.
       "We are not there yet," he said, but added that there were no
       "significant, insurmountable, problems."
       Details of the peace proposals
       A version of the 67-page document has been seen by a BBC correspondent.
       It covers a new assembly, cross-border bodies and a Council of the
       The proposed assembly will have more than 100 seats elected by
       proportional representation.
       It will initially be set up as a "shadow body" for a period of around
       six months while there is a period of liaison with the British and Irish
       governments over planned new cross-border bodies.
       If the assembly does not manage to agree at the end of that deadline,
       th loopbe UK Government will suspend it.
       The UK Governemnt will change the Government of Ireland Act to include a
       consent clause.
       The Irish Government will also change Articles 2 and 3 of its
       constitution which claims the territory of Northern Ireland.
       After the parties have finished their individual assessments, they will
       go into a final meeting which will consider any last minute amendments.
      The details of the agreement are then expected to be announced
       officially later on Friday.
       The final agreement will be posted to every household in Northern
       Ireland and put to a referendum on May 22, according to British Prime
       Minister Tony Blair's official spokesman.
       A referendum will also be held in the Irish Republic, but probably not
       on the same day.
       Parties optimistic
       Earlier on Friday most of the political leaders sounded positive.
       Mr Blair's official spokesman said: "All in all, when you put it
       together, it is genuinely a new beginning for Northern Ireland."
       Irish Foreign Minister David Andrews said the prospects for a deal were
       "very, very positive.
       The leader of the non-sectarian Alliance Party, Lord Alderdice,
       described the deal which now appeared within grasp as "quite
       He said: "We have all been working on this for such a long time and
       until relatively recently the differences between some of the
       participants were huge.
       "By setting a deadline, by putting in enormous energy, gaps have been
       The BBC's correspondent Tom Coulter said he had seen members of the
       nationalist SDLP hugging, kissing and celebrating inside the building.
       Ulster Unionist Party deputy leader John Taylor was a little more
       cautious but revised his forecast that there was only a 4% of 5% chance
       of an agreement.
       "There is a 75% chance of an agreement emerging," he said.
       David Ervine of the Progressive Unionist Party, which represents the UVF
       paramilitary, sounded euphoric.
       He said: "It's a historic occasion. We are very upbeat."
       David Adams, of the Ulster Democratic Party, the political wing of the
       paramilitary UDA, said a huge effort had gone into achieving an
       He asked: "Isn't it much better we have spilled sweat than spilled
       Outstanding problems
       Sinn Fein chairman Mitchel McLaughlin indicated that agreement had been
       reached on the main issues.
       He said some key issue like prisoners and policing remained to be
       But he appeared to suggest a deal would be agreed by not ruling out the
       possibility of Sinn Fein members taking their seats in a new assembly.
       Paisley protests
       Overnight,, hundreds of loyalists opposed to the deal broke into the
       grounds of the Stormont estate.
       Riot police with dogs held them back, but the Rev Ian Paisley, leader of
       the Democratic Unionists, who refused to take part in the same talks as
       Sinn Fein, was allowed through.
       Mr Paisley then held a stormy press conference where he denounced the
       peace process and accused Protestants involved in it as "selling out"
       their constituents.

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