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Voice of America, 99-11-28

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>


CONTENTS

  • [01] NORTHERN IRELAND (L) BY LOURDES NAVARRO (LONDON)
  • [02] NORTHERN IRELAND UPDATE S BY LOURDES NAVARRO (LONDON)
  • [03] NORTHERN IRELAND S L BY LOURDES NAVARRO (LONDON)
  • [04] SPAIN-ETA (S-L) BY GIL CARBAJAL (MADRID)

  • [01] NORTHERN IRELAND (L) BY LOURDES NAVARRO (LONDON)

    DATE=11/27/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256576
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Northern Ireland's largest Protestant party has voted to support a U-S mediated peace deal. Almost 60 percent of the Ulster Unionist council voted to accept the plan, which clears the way for a joint Catholic and Protestant government and fulfills the terms of the so-called Good Friday Accord of 1998. But, as Lourdes Navarro reports from London, Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble had to make some major concessions to win his party's support.

    TEXT: The vote was a triumph for Mr. Trimble. The ratification of U-S mediator George Mitchell's plan means that by early next week the Protestant party that wants to keep British rule in Northern Ireland will join a power-sharing government with Sinn Fein, the political wing of the outlawed Irish Republican Army, or I-R-A. But while the tense and emotional three-hour debate ended in victory, Mr. Trimble did have to make some concessions. The Mitchell plan calls for the Ulster Unionists to take power with Sinn Fein, before the I-R-A begins to turn in its weapons. In order to get a majority on his side, Mr. Trimble had to postpone final ratification of the Mitchell plan until February. But the provisional acceptance of the agreement means that a new Protestant and Catholic cabinet will be assembled early next week - the first time in a generation that the two sides have governed together. Following the vote, Mr. Trimble said it is now up to Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams to see that the I-R-A delivers on its promise to begin turning in its weapons.

    /// ACT TRIMBLE ///

    We've done our bit and Mr. Adams, it's over to you, We've jumped. You follow.

    /// END ACT ///

    In return for Sinn Fein gaining a share of power, the I-R-A must is obligated to begin negotiations to disarm on the same day the new cabinet is assembled. The peace process had been stalled until U-S diplomat George Mitchell returned to Northern Ireland and negotiated this latest deal. Mr. Mitchell also helped broker the original Good Friday Accord in 1998. (signed)
    NEB/LN/DW/JP 27-Nov-1999 11:26 AM EDT (27-Nov-1999 1626 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] NORTHERN IRELAND UPDATE S BY LOURDES NAVARRO (LONDON)

    DATE=11/27/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256573
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Northern Ireland's largest Protestant party has voted to support a U-S mediated peace deal. Almost 60 percent of the Ulster Unionist council decided to accept the plan that clears the way for a joint Catholic and Protestant government. But, as Lourdes Navarro reports from London, in order for Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble to get the support he had to make some major concessions.

    TEXT: Mr. Trimble promised the more than 800 members of the Ulster Unionist council that he would resign as head of the party if the outlawed Irish Republican Army did not begin giving up its weapons by January. Under the package negotiated by U-S diplomat George Mitchell, the Ulster Unionists will take power with Sinn Fein, the political wing of the Irish Republican Army, before the I-R-A actually disarms. More significantly, Mr. Trimble told the assembled group that this vote would not be the final one on the matter. Ultimate ratification of the Mitchell plan would be postponed until the end of February to see if the I-R-A has kept its promise to give up weapons. The positive outcome of the vote means that a power- sharing executive could be set up as soon as early as next week.(signed)
    NEB/LN/DW/JP 27-Nov-1999 09:31 AM EDT (27-Nov-1999 1431 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] NORTHERN IRELAND S L BY LOURDES NAVARRO (LONDON)

    DATE=11/28/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256587
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: British Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Mandelson says he is confident the Irish Republican Army will hand in its weapons and comply with a U-S mediated peace deal. The deal approved Saturday by the Protestant Ulster Unionist party paves the way for a joint Protestant and Catholic government as early as this week. But, as Lourdes Navarro reports from London, there are still obstacles on the road to a lasting peace.

    TEXT: Ulster Unionists approved the plan that will have them sharing government with the Irish Republican Army's political wing, Sinn Fein, before the guerilla group hands in its weapons. In return for Sinn Fein sharing power, the I-R-A must begin negotiations to disarm on the same day the new cabinet is assembled. But to get the Unionists to back the plan, leader David Trimble had to postpone its final ratification until February -- giving his group the opportunity to stop the peace process if the I-R-A has not started handing over its weapons by then. He also offered to resign. But Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams expressed his party's anger at the compromise. Mr. Adams said deferring the decision would lead to uncertainty.

    // REST OPT FOR LONG //

    Northern Ireland Secretary Mandelson told the B-B-C he is confident the I-R-A will honor its pledge. But he also promised the Ulster Unionists that he would suspend the new government if the I-R-A does not turn in its arms.

    /// ACT MANDELSON //

    If decommissioning then did not follow, then I would act and suspend the operation of the devolved government and that was a safety net, if you like, that they were entitled to receive and which I have given.

    /// END ACT MANDELSON //

    U-S mediator George Mitchell is praising the Ulster Unionist's decision to approve the deal he spent two- months mediating. Mr. Mitchell, who was also one of the architects of the original Good Friday Accord of 1998, says it is a very significant step forward. But he is also warning that the peace process is -- not out of the woods yet. International pressure on both sides to remain committed is strong and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern and President Clinton hailed the latest developments. Northern Ireland's new government could be in power as early as Thursday -- the first time in a generation the two sides have governed together. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LN/DW/RAE 28-Nov-1999 09:53 AM EDT (28-Nov-1999 1453 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [04] SPAIN-ETA (S-L) BY GIL CARBAJAL (MADRID)

    DATE=11/28/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256591
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Spain's Basque separatists have announced the end of their 14-month-old ceasefire. Gil Carbajal reports from Madrid that the announcement follows a stalemate in peace negotiations.

    TEXT: The Basque pro-independence group ETA says it is ending the ceasefire it has observed since September 18 of last year. ETA says it is ending the truce because the peace process had been -- in its words -- "blocked and poisoned" by the Spanish government and moderate Basques. In a communique published Sunday in the Basque newspaper "Gara", the terrorist group blamed its decision on "repression" by the Spanish and French governments. It also cited the failure of moderate Basque nationalist parties to cooperate in achieving an independent Basque state. The ETA announcement said its commandos would receive orders on Friday -- December 3rd -- when to resume terrorist activity. The end of the ETA ceasefire came as a shock to the Basque country in the north of Spain. After more than a year of peace, people had begun to hope for an end to three-decades of violence that cost more than 800 lives.

    // REST OPT FOR LONG //

    Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar responded in a brief statement on national radio and television that -- in his words -- ETA is wrong to put a price on the right of everybody to live in peace. He denied ETA's charge that the government failed to engage in active peace negotiations. The head of the Basque autonomous government, Juan Jose Ibarretxe, said ETA's decision was a step backward for the Basque Country. Socialist opposition leader Joaquin Alumnia said that only ETA was to blame for the end of the ceasefire. State radio called it a dark day for the Basque people. ETA -- which stands for Basque Homeland and Freedom in the Basque language -- complained that while it honored its ceasefire, the French and Spanish governments had continued to crack down on Basque activists, making a number of high-profile arrests, including that of a man alleged to be ETA's military chief. When ETA declared its ceasefire an influencing factor was believed to be the truce declared in Northern Ireland by the Irish Republican Army. Ironically, the ETA announcement ending its ceasefire came as the I-R- A, through its political wing Sinn Fein, moved toward a joint governing agreement with pro-British forces in Northern Ireland. (SIGNED)
    NEB/GC/DW/RAE 28-Nov-1999 12:30 PM EDT (28-Nov-1999 1730 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America
    Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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