15 March 2001 Edition
IRA meets De Chastelain
In its third statement inside a week, the leadership of Óglaigh na hÉireann has revealed that an IRA representative has met with the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD). The full text of the latest IRA statement, received by An Phoblacht on Wednesday afternoon, 14 March, is carried below. The previous two statements are carried in full on page 3.
``On Thursday 8 March the IRA leadership announced that we would enter into further discussions with the IICD on the basis of our commitment to resolving the issue of arms as contained in our statement of 6 May 2000.
The IRA representative has since met with the IICD and set out the basis for discussions.
The IRA has honoured its commitments and will continue to do so.''
P.O'Neill, Irish Republican Publicity Bureau, Dublin
``The British government must deliver on its obligations.'' - IRA
The following is the text of a statement released by the leadership of Óglaigh na hÉireann last Thurday, 8 March.
``The leadership of Óglaigh na hÉireann has received a detailed briefing of the intensive negotiations which have taken place over the last eight weeks.
The British government's position shows that it is not prepared to uphold the commitments it made over the last number of years. This is totally unacceptable to the IRA. Despite this the leadership remains committed to the quest for a lasting peace in our country. This will only be achieved if everyone plays their part.
In recent years, Óglaigh na hÉireann has engaged in an unprecedented series of substantial and historic initiatives to enhance the peace process, including maintaining cessations over seven years, regular monitoring of arms dumps by International Inspectors and a commitment to the creation of a future in which the causes of conflict are resolved by peaceful means.
As an earnest of our commitment, and despite the British government's position, the IRA leadership has decided to enter into further discussions with the IICD (Independent International Commission on Decommissioning). This will be on the basis of the IRA leadership's commitment to resolving the issue as contained in our statement of 6 May 2000, and on no other basis.
For this engagement to be successful, the British government must deliver on its obligations. It must return to and deliver on the agreement made with us on 5 May 2000.
At that time the two governments in a joint letter and a joint statement set out commitments for the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement by June 2001.
The British government publicly and privately committed itself to deal with a range of matters, including human rights, equality, justice, demilitarisation and policing.
The record shows that the IRA have honoured every commitment we have made, including the opening of IRA arms dumps to inspections by the agreed International Inspectors, Cyril Ramaphosa and Maarti Ahtisaari. We have done so despite the abuse of the peace process by those who persist with the aim of defeating Irish republicanism, and the obvious failure of the British government to honour its obligations.
The political responsibility for advancing the current situation rests with the two governments, especially the British government and the leadership of the political parties.''
A second statement from the Army leadership the same day added:
``Our representative has been in touch with the IICD (Independent International Commission on Decommissioning) and made it aware of our intention to enter into further discussion.''