News Letter, Belfast
IT WAS never likely that Mr Adams would be in a position to announce that "the war is over", but yesterday's declaration amounted to the same thing. Mr Adams has already unequivocally condemned the Omagh massacre and rejected all violence in the most direct terms. It was striking how enthusiastically the statement was welcomed by both London and Dublin. Trimble's response was more restrained, but that was to be expected. When the impact of the statement by Mr Adams is taken into consideration, yesterday can be seen as an excellent day for the entire community.
Irish News, Belfast
WHATEVER THE IRA may say, decommissioning forms part of the agreement. And it is not a question of what the IRA call "word games". It is a question of Sinn Fein's commitment to using only peaceful and democratic means to advance their aims. It is a question of making it possible for David Trimble to sit with them in a new Northern executive. Yesterday Mr Adams made a major and laudable step in the right direction. We look forward to his next, vital steps towards making peace and tolerance a reality.
Irish Independent, Dublin
NOT ALL of Mr Trimble's party will be immediately persuaded of the value of Mr Adams's words. Mr Trimble will not be without internal resistance if he seeks to respond affirmatively. None the less, outside of his party ranks he will be under intense pressure to do so, not least from President Clinton. Mr Adams's statement and Mr McGuinness's participation in the decommissioning body give him at least some of the political space he requires.
Irish Times, Dublin