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DATE=7/20/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-251969 TITLE=NORTHERN IRELAND (L-ONLY) BYLINE=LAURIE KASSMAN DATELINE=LONDON CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: BRITAIN'S PRIME MINISTER, TONY BLAIR, MET (TUESDAY) WITH HIS IRISH COUNTERPART IN ANOTHER EFFORT TO BREAK THE IMPASSE IN NORTHERN IRELAND'S PEACE PROCESS. THE MEETING CAME AS UNIONIST AND REPUBLICAN POLITICIANS IN THE BRITISH PROVINCE CONTINUE TO BLAME EACH OTHER FOR THE DEADLOCK. CORRESPONDENT LAURIE KASSMAN REPORTS FORMER U-S SENATOR GEORGE MITCHELL, WHO HELPED REACH THE 1998 PEACE AGREEMENT, WILL FACILITATE A REVIEW OF THE PROBLEMS. TEXT: THE FOCUS NOW IS GETTING NORTHERN IRELAND'S PEACE PROCESS BACK ON TRACK. FORMER U-S SENATOR GEORGE MITCHELL WILL TAKE CHARGE OF A FULL REVIEW OF THE ISSUES IN DISPUTE -- NOTABLY THE TIMING OF THE DISARMAMENT OF "IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY" PARAMILITARIES AND THE FORMATION OF A POWER-SHARING GOVERNMENT. PRIME MINISTER BLAIR STRESSES THAT THE REVIEW WILL COVER ONLY THE KEY DISPUTE AND NOT THE WHOLE "GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT". /// BLAIR ACT /// THE REVIEW IS OF LIMITED FOCUS, LIMITED TO DETERMINING HOW THOSE AGREED PRINCIPLES, WHICH EVERYONE HAS ACCEPTED, WILL THEN CARRY FORWARD. /// END ACT /// FORMER SENATOR GEORGE MITCHELL WILL LAUNCH THE REVIEW PROCESS THIS WEEK WITH THE "ULSTER UNIONISTS" AND "SINN FEIN", THE POLITICAL WING OF "THE IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY". MR. MITCHELL SAYS HE WILL RELY ON THE STRATEGY HE USED FOR MEDIATING THE 1998 "GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT". /// MITCHELL ACT /// THE VERY FIRST DAY OF THE NEGOTIATIONS IN JUNE OF 1996, I TOLD THE PARTICIPANTS THAT I WAS THERE NOT TO PREPARE AN AGREEMENT BUT TO ASSIST THEM PREPARING THEIR AGREEMENT. AND I THINK IN THE END THE SAME THING IS TRUE NOW. IT IS THE POLITICAL LEADERS ACTING ON BEHALF OF THE PEOPLE OF NORTHERN IRELAND WHO MUST REACH THEIR WAY FORWARD. /// END ACT /// THE PEACE PROCESS HAS STALLED OVER THE ISSUE OF DISARMAMENT. ULSTER UNIONISTS INSIST THE I-R-A MUST START HANDING OVER WEAPONS BEFORE SINN FEIN JOINS THE GOVERNING EXECUTIVE COUNCIL. SINN FEIN INSISTS THE PEACE AGREEMENT HAS NO SUCH PRECONDITION. LAST WEEK, THE "ULSTER UNIONIST PARTY" REFUSED TO NOMINATE MINISTERS FOR A POWER-SHARING CABINET, WHICH PREVENTED LONDON FROM TRANSFERRING HOME RULE POWERS TO BELFAST. MR. MITCHELL IS DUE TO MEET WITH ALL THE PARTIES AT LEAST ONCE BEFORE THE END OF JULY, AND THEN RESUME THE REVIEW PROCESS IN SEPTEMBER. (SIGNED) NEB/LMK/PCF/RAE 20-Jul-99 1:38 PM EDT (1738 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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