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14 April 2005 Edition

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Positive political reaction in Britain

In Britain, Gerry Adams' address to the IRA was welcomed by cross-party politicians and political leaders.

London Mayor Ken Livingstone said: "Gerry Adams has today taken another enormously courageous and historic step to push forward the Irish Peace Process. This statement confirms his unequivocal commitment to removing all guns from Irish politics. The only possible response must be to restore, without delay, all of the institutions and processes established by the Good Friday Agreement so that all parties can work together to create an Ireland in which all traditions are accepted and respected."

At Westminster, Labour MP John McDonnell tabled an early day motion welcoming Adams' initiative, which gained initial support from MPs Jeremy Corbyn, Ann Cryer and NI Select Committee member Stephen Hepburn.

Liberal Democrat MP and party spokesperson on Ireland, Lembit Opik, said: "I believe Gerry Adams has made a tremendously important statement in calling for the IRA to actively help rebuild the peace process in Northern Ireland. Indeed, if the IRA responds positively, then this looks like a landmark moment after a long period of stagnation."

The broad Friends of Ireland — Friends of the Good Friday Agreement group also welcomed Gerry Adams' statement as "a major step forward in breaking the current impasse in the peace process" and urged "a positive response from all sides to this critically important and constructive initiative".

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