Ceasefire acceptance welcomed by Dublin

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The Independent Online
(First Edition) The Dublin government warmly welcomed the Prime Minister's speech, showing undisguised relief at London's adoption of a 'working assumption' that the IRA ceasefire is permanent.

The Taoiseach, Albert Reynolds, said it gave 'much-needed momentum' to the peace process.

Privately, Irish government sources cited the British commitment to reopen border roads as practical evidence that London accepts republican violence is over.

Dick Spring, Foreign Minister, said the speech contained some 'very significant elements', and the British assertion that no internal solution would work was 'reassuring'. Though apparently unaware that British proposals outlining the way forward would accompany the framework document, officials said this did not pose a problem.

'We have always recognised that Strand One (of the existing talks framework) was a matter for the parties in Northern Ireland and the British Government,' Mr Spring said. Dublin accepted this with the proviso that an internal solution 'was not going to solve the problem'. He said he hoped the framework document being finalised by the two governments would soon be made public. Pat Doherty, Sinn Fein vice-president, accepted the issue of arms and explosives stocks would be on the agenda in the coming talks, but insisted it would also have to cover a date for the withdrawal of British troops.

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