12 July 2001 Edition
Blair must play his part
No progress in talks to save the Agreement
As An Phoblacht goes to print, the round table crisis talks being held in Shropshire, England, have broken up for another day without any sign of positive movement. Efforts to save the Good Friday Agreement will resume on Friday.
An Phoblacht understands that the British have put nothing new on the table but that the Sinn Féin delegation is working hard to impress upon all parties, particularly the British, the need for movement on as yet unfulfilled commitments made in the Agreement, particularly on policing, demilitarisation, the justice system, and equality issues. In a speech delivered in London on Tuesday, Gerry Adams warned against the exclusive focus of the British government on the issue of IRA arms (See Page 8).
When the parties resume talks on Friday, the focus needs to move away from attempting to isolate Sinn Féin and back to securing the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. The alternative is a vacuum, one that loyalist paramilitaries have been rushing to fill in recent days and weeks. Now is the time for British Prime Minister Tony Blair to show leadership and bat for the Agreement and for sustaining the Irish peace process.