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Statement by President Clinton on Northern Ireland

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February 11, 2000

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

The Good Friday Accord, made possible by the courage of leaders from both of Northern Ireland's communities, responded to the people's overwhelming desire for peace. It has been sustained by those leaders making the tough decisions necessary to keep the process moving forward. I regret that the IRA did not give the de Chastelain Commission a more timely commitment on arms decommissioning to maintain the momentum toward full implementation of the Accord -- a commitment which reflects the wishes of the vast majority of people both in Ireland and in Northern Ireland.

At the same time, we have seen real progress in the past few days. This progress is reflected in the most recent report from the de Chastelain Commission, which states that the commitment made by the IRA's representative "holds out the real prospect of an agreement which would enable [the Commission] to fulfill the substance of its mandate." I urge all the parties to build on that progress, remain engaged and carry through on their responsibilities to work together to achieve the full implementation of the Good Friday Accord.

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