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31 May 2001 Edition

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IRA advances Peace Process

Inspectors report that Army has ``fully honoured its commitments''



A senior IRA source has confirmed to An Phoblacht that international arms inspectors Cyril Ramaphosa and Martti Ahtisaari have carried out a third examination of IRA arms dumps.

According to the Army representative, the latest inspections took place in line with the commitments that Óglaigh na hÉireann made in May of last year.

The Army representative told An Phoblacht that the latest inspection would have taken place earlier but for ``technical difficulties at both ends'', not least of which was the Foot and Mouth crisis.

The IRA spokesperson also confirmed that an Army representative was still involved in ongoing discussions with the IICD.

``The IRA is honouring its commitments of May 2000,'' said the spokesperson. ``Others should do likewise''.

In their report to the IICD, Ramaphosa and Ahtisaari said that the dumps they inspected were secure and that none of the materiel in them could be removed without their knowledge. ``The IRA has once again fully honoured its commitments and complied with the terms of our engagement and we are convinced that this cooperation willl continue,'' the inspectors reported.

In a statement welcoming the news that Ramaphosa and Ahtisaari had inspected IRA dumps, Sinn Féin negotiator Gerry Kelly said, ``This is a welcome report from the arms inspectors and once again confirms the commitment of the IRA to the Peace Process.''

Added Kelly: ``It shows that at a time when others are erecting obstacles and setting deadlines, the IRA is still prepared to honour its commitments in a genuine bid to advance the Process.

``Mr Trimble should now act and remove his unlawful ban on Sinn Féin ministers participating in all-Ireland bodies.

``Unionists who are genuine about the Good Friday Agreement should build upon these initiatives.''
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