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27 June 2002 Edition

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Kelly upbeat despite Trimble no-show

BY MICHAEL PIERSE


"Some substantial discussion" took place at yesterday, Wednesday 26 June's meeting of the Good Friday Agreement Implementation Body, according to Sinn Féin's Gerry Kelly, despite the notable absence of David Trimble.

Journalists at the press conference that followed the meeting were keen to know why Trimble had not attended, especially given his assertion, in recent times, that the Peace Process is in "crisis".

Despite a gap of three months since the last Implementation Body meeting, Kelly was upbeat about yesterday's discussions, attended by British Secretary of State John Reid, Dublin Foreign Affairs Minister Brian Cowen, and the pro-Agreement parties of the Six Counties.

Dermot Nesbitt, Ivan Davis and Stephen King, the UUP representatives at the meeting, were asked by journalists why they had called Gerry Adams' inability to attend a day of the Weston Park meetings last year a "snub", yet were unable to account for Trimble's absence yesterday.

Representatives would return to their respective parties, Kelly said, in relation to making such "necessary, casual political interaction" a more frequent occurrence. "Frank discussion," Kelly told An Phoblacht, had centred on issues of "truth and healing, demilitarisation, policing and other aspects of the Good Friday Agreement which still require a lot of work".

The Sinn Féin policing spokesperson also drew attention to the attempted placing of a number of RUC/PSNI surveillance cameras in his constituency yesterday which, he said, had "caused a lot of offence and anger to people". Posts erected by the RUC/PSNI, on which the cameras were to be placed, were cut down with angle-grinders by local youths on Tuesday night. A total of 27 camera-mounted posts have been planned for the area.

"As revelations of institutionalised RUC collusion with loyalists continue to emerge, local residents have been asking why these cameras were to be placed in the Ardoyne area, away from interface clashes, and what guarantee they have that information garnered from them would not fall into the hands of loyalist death squads," he said.
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