'The IRA has entered into further talks'

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The Independent Online

This is an edited version of the IRA statement.

This is an edited version of the IRA statement.

The leadership of Oglaigh na h-Eireann [the IRA] has received a detailed briefing of the intensive negotiations which have taken place over the last eight weeks.

The British government's position shows that it is not prepared to uphold the commitments it made over the last number of years. This is totally unacceptable to the IRA. Despite this the leadership remains committed to the quest for a lasting peace in our country. This will only be achieved if everyone plays their part.

In recent years [the IRA] has engaged in an unprecedented series of substantial and historic initiatives to enhance the peace process, including maintaining cessations over seven years, [the] regular monitoring of arms dumps by international inspectors and a commitment to the creation of a future in which the causes of conflict are resolved by peaceful means.

As an earnest of our commitment,... the IRA leadership has decided to enter into further discussions with the IICD [Independent International Commission for Decomissioning]... For this engagement to be successful, the British government must deliver on its obligations. It must return to and deliver on the agreement made with us on 5 May 2000.

At that time the two governments in a joint letter and a joint statement set out commitments for the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement by June 2001. The British Government... committed itself to deal with a range of matters including human rights, equality, justice, demilitarisation and policing. The record shows that the IRA have honoured every commitment we have made including the opening of IRA arms dumps to [international] inspections... We have done so despite the abuse of the peace process by those who persist with the aim of defeating... Irish republicanism and the... failure of the British government to honour its obligations.

The political responsibility for advancing the current situation rests with the two governments, especially the British government and the leadership of the political parties.