Letter: Northern Ireland: a time for new concepts; Unionist fears; violence that can return

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The Independent Online
Sir: Interviewed on Channel 4 this evening, John Hume insisted that all he has been seeking is a permanent end to violence, which needs agreement to be reached between the two traditions in Ireland. What he did not say on this occasion, but has declared repeatedly elsewhere, is that an 'internal settlement' is not acceptable to nationalists.

As Unionists say they will not agree to anything else, Mr Hume appears to be ruling out the very things he claims to be seeking. Nobody should be surprised, therefore, at Unionist suspicions that there is more going on than meets the eye.

Since Mr Hume believes that an agreement is possible, perhaps the starting point for negotiations will be for each side to say what it means by an 'internal settlement'.

Yours faithfully,

BERT WARD

Middlesbrough

30 August

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