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DATE=11/13/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=AHERN - NORTHERN IRELAND PEACE (L-O) NUMBER=2-256111 BYLINE=BARBARA SCHOETZAU DATELINE=NEW YORK CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: In New York today (Friday), the Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland, Bertie Ahern, said he hopes a weekend of reflection will help both sides in Northern Ireland to break the deadlock when they resume talks Monday over the 1998 peace agreement. Correspondent Barbara Schoetzau reports from New York. TEXT: Mr. Ahern, an architect of the so-called "Good Friday" peace agreement, says it is time to stop trying to change the peace accord and start implementing it. The main parties to the peace agreement are stalled over the issue of weapons. The largest of the groups favoring continued British rule, the Ulster Unionist Party, wants the Irish Republican Army to begin turning over its weapons before its political wing, Sinn Fein, takes up its leadership positions in the new Northern Ireland Assembly. Sinn Fein objects to the new condition, saying it is not part of the original peace agreement. Former U-S Senator George Mitchell - who brokered the 1998 agreement - has been working to break the impasse for 10 weeks. Early Friday, he sent both sides home, asking them to "pause and reflect on the magnitude of the decisions they have to make." Prime Minister Ahern says both sides should remember how far they have come and how much they have achieved. And, he says, they should also remember that no side in any dispute ever achieves everything it wants. /// AHERN ACT /// We are now faced with implementing what the people have overwhelmingly voted for. The people voted for this agreement. And it is said by everyone in the North that there is no agreement ever more studied than the Good Friday agreement. Therefore, we have an obligation to implement it. We were asked to review it. We reviewed it. And now I think there is no more we can do. We can just reflect on it and say "Yes" or "Nay." I just hope everybody says "Yes." /// END ACT //// Mr. Ahern says he remains optimistic the two sides will be able to resolve points of contention when they resume talks Monday. The Irish prime minister, ending a three-day visit to New York, spoke to the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, a private U-S group that has been influential in the peace process.(SIGNED) NEB/NYC/BJS/LSF/JP 12-Nov-1999 17:06 PM EDT (12-Nov-1999 2206 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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