US 'fact-finding' visit to Ulster welcomed

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Indy Politics
JOHN MAJOR and Sir Patrick Mayhew, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, yesterday confirmed that they were now ready to accept the visit of a United States envoy to Ulster providing it was seen as a 'fact-finding' mission, writes Colin Brown.

The Government dismissed the idea when it was raised by Bill Clinton during his presidential election campaign. But the Prime Minister's office said yesterday that Mr Major would welcome a fact-finding visit if the President raised the idea during their meeting in Washington on 24 February.

Ministers hope such a visit will reinforce the US clampdown on American aid to the IRA, and that it may help to restart the stalled cross-party talks on devolved power for Northern Ireland.