I want to thank your readers for voting me "Woman of the Year" (21 December). As I said then, I share this accolade with the people of Northern Ireland, and the leaders of all the parties who have shown such courage, because that's why we have got as far as we have. But I also want to say thanks to countless people who offer their support and good wishes for the peace process. Please keep writing to me with your ideas - because every good thought can contribute to facilitating the path to peace.

My wish for 1998 is that an accommodation can be reached among the parties in the talks for a new agreement to which the people of Northern Ireland can give their wholehearted support. In the New Year a fresh spirit of determination and compromise is needed if we are going to get what we all want - a lasting settlement and a Northern Ireland at peace with itself.

Your support for this is more valuable than you can imagine.

Mo Mowlam

House of Commons

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