TITLE=NORTHERN IRELAND (L UDPATE)
INTRO: Former U-S Senator George Mitchell has met
with Unionist and Republican leaders in Northern
Ireland and says the two sides will meet again Monday.
Mr Mitchell who helped broker the 1998 peace agreement
now is trying to break an impasse over disarming the
Irish Republican Army paramilitaries. V-O-A
Correspondent Laurie Kassman reports from London.
TEXT: Mr Mitchell refuses to give up after more than
two months of non-stop talks, billed as a review of
the peace process. He has given both sides a couple
of days away from the negotiating table to consult
with their political supporters.
A statement issued in his name says "it is appropriate
to take the time necessary to thoroughly and carefully
consider these important matters."
Unionists and Republicans have been deadlocked for
nearly two years over the timing of the handover of I-
R-A weapons and the establishment of an all-party
council to deal with the transfer of home rule powers
Hope of a breakthrough was dampened Thursday night
when Ulster Unionist party leaders rejected the
latest, unspecified I-R-A bid to break the impasse.
The head of the I-R-A's political wing, Gerry Adams
says the Unionists must decide, in his words, "whether
they want the process to succeed".
/// ADAMS ACT ///
Sinn Fein has demonstrated that we want it to
work and made strenuous efforts, we have taken
initiatives and stressed ourselves and our
constituencies to the limit.
/// END ACT ///
British Prime Minister Tony Blair urges more patience.
He spoke to reporters in South Africa where he is
attending a Commonwealth summit.
/// BLAIR ACT ///
I hope very much that people will keep on trying
to think calmly about this, have some patience,
understand how extraordinarily close we are to
an agreement and how far people have come.
/// END ACT ///
So far neither side is ready to call it quits. Both
Sinn Fein and the Ulster Unionists say they will be
back at Belfast's Stormont Castle to continue the
talks on Monday. (Signed)
12-Nov-1999 09:49 AM EDT (12-Nov-1999 1449 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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