Letter: Trimble is right

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The Independent Culture
Letter:

Trimble is right

Sir: Ken Livingstone ("Can Trimble find the courage to take a big risk for peace?" 23 June) seems to endorse the idea that arms decommissioning would start very rapidly once the Northern Ireland Executive was functioning.

However, the IRA has said three times since the Good Friday agreement that it will not decommission. The only sign of a softening of this position was in a report last month that the Provisional leadership would "consider some form of decommissioning gesture" after Sinn Fein got its seats in government. Neither Unionists nor democrats generally can be expected to be satisfied with that.

David Trimble's request for a serious beginning to the process of decommissioning is reasonable. The only possible room for further compromise is that decommissioning and Sinn Fein's participation in the Executive should start simultaneously.

STEPHEN PLOWDEN

London NW1

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