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7 November 2002 Edition

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Governments promise talks

Speaking after a meeing in Dublin on Wednesday morning, Dublin Foreign Minister Brian Cowen and Six-County Direct Ruler Paul Murphy said they hoped to be in a position next week to announce a new round of talks to tackle the crisis in the peace process.

Cowen said the meeting had been constructive and detailed, and that both governments wanted to see a situation where there was full implementation of all aspects of the Good Friday Agreement.

Murphy said there was no quick-fix solution to the present impasse and said there was a lack of trust and confidence between the parties.

On Tuesday, following a meeting with Gerry Adams, Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble rejected an invitation from the Sinn Féin President to address a meeting of the party's Ard Comhairle.

With typical lack of grace, Trimble said the invitation was rather peculiar, ading: "I did not see any particular value in it. As I pointed out to him, we are not exactly the best of buddies at the moment, so I rather suspect this would be sending the wrong message."

Adams said he had come forward with the proposition that the two leaders would address their respective national executives to prtovide some mutual reassurance for unionists and republicans that each side was fully committed to every element of the peace process.

On Tuesday morning, Gerry Adams left for a series of engagements in the United States.

Responding to questions in Leinster House on Wednesday, Bertie Ahern admitted that the government is still waiting for key information from the British authorities in response to repeated requests from the Barron Inquiry investigating the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings. The Dáil had earlier heard details of a letter from the British Ministry of Defence advising its employees not to volunteer information to the Barron Inquiry. Sinn Féin's Caoimhghín ó Caoláin said the government had to be more proactive in demanding cooperation from the British government.


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