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EDITIONS
Monday, 9 September, 2002, 14:35 GMT 15:35 UK
Ceasefires auditor plan dismissed
Plans to appoint an independent auditor to monitor the state of the paramilitary ceasefires would not benefit the peace process, according to the Sinn Fein president.

Gerry Adams was speaking on Monday after meeting the secretary of state as part of a series of high-level talks aimed at resolving problems in the political process.

Talks between Mr Adams and John Reid took place amid another potential crisis over power-sharing in the Stormont Executive and followed a summer of sectarian violence.

Gerry Adams: Concern over future of the Agreement
Gerry Adams: Concern over future of the Agreement
Mr Adams said republicans were concerned at the tendency of the government to "pander" to unionists who are opposed to the Good Friday Agreement.

He also said the government should remember the process was "not there just to help David Trimble".

"This isn't a save Dave process. This is a process about bringing about change," he said.

Dr Reid said the political and legal obligation regarding any decisions on ceasefires would remain with him and he would be advised mainly by the chief constable.

"But there is a widespread feeling that we need to put more systematic information to the public in Northern Ireland about who is committing this violence, where, in what quantities," he said.


The public knows all too well where the breaches are, as does the government

David Burnside MP
UUP

The Ulster Unionist ruling council is to convene a special meeting on 21 September over power-sharing with Sinn Fein.

Some Ulster Unionists had called for the party to withdraw from the executive because of recent reports alleging IRA activity in Northern Ireland and Colombia.

There are also concerns over the recent violence in flashpoint areas of east and north Belfast.

'Another fudge'

Ulster Unionist MP David Burnside accused Dr Reid of making a "pathetic, weak statement" on the ceasefires.

"He is trying to suggest ways of keeping the public informed," he said.

"The public knows all too well where the breaches are, as does the government."

Democratic Unionist assembly member Ian Paisley Junior said Dr Reid had been proposing is a mechanism "which is basically just another fudge".

"The secretary of state needs to be more honest with the people," he said.

"The ceasefires broke down ages ago. Everyone knows that - the chief constable, the assistant chief constable, even the secretary of state."

In the coming days, Mr Adams is also due to meet Prime Minister Tony Blair in Downing Street.

He will also have talks with Irish premier Bertie Ahern and President Bush's special adviser on Northern Ireland, Richard Haass.

The Sinn Fein president is also seeking a meeting with First Minister and Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble.

Dr John Reid: Held  talks with Gerry Adams
Dr John Reid: Held talks with Gerry Adams

It was the 800-strong Ulster Unionist Council which agreed to go into government with Sinn Fein two years ago. It also has the power to pull Ulster Unionist ministers out.

In July, Mr Trimble said he would put off any decision until September but any move from him has now been pre-empted by the anti-Agreement elements within his party.

The meeting comes as the assembly prepares to hold its first debate of the autumn session.

Among the bills coming before the Assembly is a new marriage bill aimed at easing the distress of divorcing couples.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams tells the BBC
"No section of the electorate can be denied their rights"
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:

30 Aug 02 | N Ireland
24 Jul 02 | N Ireland
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