BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: N Ireland  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Thursday, 27 June, 2002, 19:44 GMT 20:44 UK
Trimble plays down talks absence
Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble has played down his absence from Wednesday's meeting of the pro-Agreement parties at Hillsborough.

In an interview for the BBC's Hearts and Minds programme, Mr Trimble said next week's talks with the British and Irish prime ministers would be more important than Wednesday's discussions.

During the interview, with the BBC's Noel Thompson, Mr Trimble objected to suggestions that the sanctions his party wants levelled at Sinn Fein require changes to the Good Friday Agreement.

At times, the first minister struggled to keep his cool and at one point raised his voice at the interviewer.

'Solution'

On Wednesday, the secretary of state said the solution to Northern Ireland's political problems will not be found in London or Dublin.

Emerging from six-hour of talks between the pro-Agreement parties, John Reid said there should be more such meetings.

David Trimble
David Trimble: Did not attend meeting
The progress of the Northern Ireland political process was discussed at the meeting at Hillsborough Castle, which was also attended by the British and Irish Governments.

Dr Reid and the Irish Foreign Minister, Brian Cowen, were discussing the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement with the parties.

Dr Reid said: "The solution to the problems in Northern Ireland will be found in Northern Ireland.

"They will not be found ultimately by (Irish Prime Minister) Bertie Ahern, Tony Blair, John Reid or Brian Cowen, with respect to Brian.

"They will be found here, and therefore the more regularly in my view the pro-Agreement parties meet together and honestly and maturely discuss openly and honestly their own problems, the better chance we have of success.

"That's why what was happening today was an eagerness and willingness on the part of everyone to meet more regularly instead of just in a crisis."

'Endangering the Agreement'

It was the second meeting of the implementation group, set up after last year's Weston Park talks.

The meeting comes against a background of recent street violence, allegations of IRA involvement in a break-in at the police's Belfast headquarters and allegations about security force collusion with paramilitaries.

Mr Trimble, who has warned that ongoing IRA activity was endangering the Agreement, did not attend.

Instead, Stormont environment minister Dermot Nesbitt and Assembly member Ivan Davis were representing the UUP.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC NI's Mark Devenport:
"Mr Trimble made strong objections during the interview"
Find out more about the latest moves in the Northern Ireland peace process

Devolution crisis

Analysis

Background

SPECIAL REPORT: IRA

TALKING POINT

AUDIO VIDEO
See also:

27 Jun 02 | N Ireland
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more N Ireland stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more N Ireland stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes