Cablegate: Peace Process: Ireland/Uk to Set November 24

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L DUBLIN 001686


E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/12/2014


1. (C) On November 14, Michael Collins, advisor to PM
Ahern, told Amb Kenny that Ireland and the UK had just agreed
a timetable for the Northern Ireland peace process. On
Wednesday, November 17, the governments will present papers
to the parties (the Irish will present to Sinn Fein and the
British to DUP). The parties will then have until November
24 to respond. On November 26, the two prime ministers will
hold a joint press conference in Belfast, either announcing a
deal, if one has been reached, or describing to the public
what the deal could have been. They hope the public then
would pressure the parties to take the deal. Collins
described the two governments as being perfectly in sync, and
in agreement that what is on offer now from Sinn Fein should
be taken. He said it was "surreal" that a deal has not yet
been reached given the significance of Sinn Fein's offer and
the fact that points of disagreement are very minor. The
problem, he said, is DUP reluctance. The key is to bring the
Rev. Ian Paisley on board. This, he said, would be easier to
do if the IRA would agree to publish photos of materiel as
part of the decommissioning process. He asked that the USG
raise this matter with Sinn Fein. End Summary

DUP named biggest obstacle to deal
2. (C) Collins said the main problem now is DUP's reluctance
to agree to anything before elections. Both governments
believe Paisley holds the key and that if he agrees, he can
bring the rest of his party along. DUP, Collins said, already
has agreed to all but one word of the IRA statement. The
only outstanding issue in the IRA statement is whether IRA
will agree to define itself as being in a "peaceful mode"
following decommissioning. As for decommissioning, Collins
said the parties have agreed that two independent witnesses
would be allowed, but have not agreed on what the witnesses
could say publicly. More significantly, the Irish believe
the Rev Ian Paisley is unlikely to accept a deal unless IRA
agrees to publish photographs of materiel. Sinn Fein has
told the GOI that IRA twice has refused to publish photos.
Collins said it would be very helpful if the U.S. would weigh
in with Sinn Fein. (The proposal is for the IRA to take
photos of the materiel, with witnesses present, before
decommissioning, not of the decommissioning itself. They
would only be made public after an Executive is formed.)

Timeline if a deal is reached

3. (C) Collins said that if a deal is reached, four
statements will follow: the IRA's statement on
decommissioning; the UK's statement on demilitarization and
"On the Runs"; a DUP statement accepting a timeline for
devolution of policing and justice; and a Sinn Fein statement
agreeing to joint policing. The governments would foresee
full decommissioning by the end of December, a shadow
assembly in January, the UK lifting suspension of the
assembly in February, and an executive in place in March. If
a deal is not reached, Collins said the governments have not
fully fleshed out next steps, but will want to find a way to
take the IRA's offer. Sinn Fein, he said, has not clarified
what its "price" would be, but the GOI assumes it would
require a greater role for Ireland in Northern Ireland.

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