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9 January 2003 Edition

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IRA rejects `unacceptable and unrealistic ultimatums'


The IRA, in its New Year statement, warns that the primary responsibility for restoring confidence in the peace process lies with the British government, which can do so by honouring its commitments. The army rejects the attempt by unionists and the British to impose "unacceptable and unrealistic ultimatums on the IRA".

The full text of the IRA statement is as follows:

"The leadership of Óglaigh na hÉireann extends New Year greetings to our Volunteers, friends and supporters at home and abroad.

We send solidarity greetings to our imprisoned comrades and their families.

As we enter the eighth year of our cessations of military operations we affirm our commitment to the achievement of a united, independent and free Ireland.

We are totally committed to the search for a just and lasting peace.

But the peace process is under threat. This emanates from the British military establishment, its intelligence agencies and from the loyalist murder gangs.

The British government has not kept its commitments. They have acknowledged this. The leadership of unionism has refused to embrace change.

But both have tried to place the responsibility for the present crisis and its resolution on the IRA. They have sought to impose unacceptable and unrealistic ultimatums on the IRA.

Pursuing an agenda dictated by those opposed to change obstructs the creation of the conditions necessary to build a lasting peace.

The IRA leadership has outlined, on a number of occasions, how the full implementation by the two governments of their commitments could provide a political context with the potential to remove the causes of conflict.

That remains our view.

The primary responsibility for restoring confidence in this process lies with the British government. Honouring their obligations is how this can be done."

P O'Neill
Irish Republican Publicity Bureau

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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