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
Tuesday, 11 February, 2003, 19:29 GMT
'Bold steps' needed to break deadlock
Richard Haass (right)
Richard Haass (right) says he has been encouraged
All sides in the Northern Ireland peace process need to take bold steps to allow the restoration of the power-sharing executive, US Ambassador Richard Haass has said.

Mr Haass was speaking after a series of meetings with politicians in Belfast on Tuesday.

He said he had tried to make a case for boldness in the peace process during the talks and said the IRA needed to move as well as the government in terms of normalisation.

President Bush's special adviser also acknowledged that progress could be made without the unionists but said it was not the kind of progress required to restore power sharing.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams: A lot of ground covered in meeting

He urged Sinn Fein to sign up to policing and stressed the need for acts of completion.

Speaking after the meeting, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said a lot of ground had been covered.

However, the West Belfast MP said he saw no evidence to show the government intended to fulfil its promise of implementing the Agreement in full.

Earlier, SDLP leader Mark Durkan said there was an expectation from the United States that the republican movement had the room and capacity to move towards a bold initiative.

Mr Durkan urged republicans to make the moves required under the terms of the Agreement.

'Plan A'

Secretary of State Paul Murphy said intensive discussions were in progress aimed at restoring the full operation of the devolved institutions.

Speaking during Northern Ireland Questions in the Commons, he said: "The discussions involve the political parties... and both governments - including the prime minister and the taoiseach, who will visit Northern Ireland on 12 February, next week."

Asked by Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble if the government had a 'Plan B' if the republican movement was unable or unwilling to implement acts of completion, Mr Murphy said he was concentrating on 'Plan A'.

Mr Haass also met the Women's Coalition, whose deputy leader Jane Morrice said: "We impressed upon Mr Haass the need to reach a solution that works for everyone and that all parties have a role to play."

On Monday, he met Paul Murphy and David Trimble in London.

Irish Premier Bertie Ahern
Bertie Ahern met Richard Haass in Dublin

The US envoy travelled to Dublin on Tuesday where he held talks with Irish Foreign Minister Brian Cowen and the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern.

Next week's visit of Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern to Northern Ireland is being seen as a key part of the sequencing.

Northern Ireland's political institutions were suspended over allegations of IRA activity including intelligence gathering at Stormont.

Following the collapse of power-sharing, current legislation dictates that the British and Irish Governments must hold a review of the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement on which devolution was based.

But unless some common ground can be found between the parties on how to proceed, there is no mechanism for reinstating Northern Ireland's government.

Both the British and Irish Governments have stressed that there will be no renegotiation of the Agreement.

It is thought Mr Haass has been using the latest round of talks to put together the bones of a deal that could be put to the parties when they are in Washington next month for the St Patrick's Day celebrations.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC NI's political correspondent Martina Purdy:
"Mr Haass said he had tried to make a case for boldness in the peace process during the talks"
BBC NI's political editor Mark Devenport:
"There is clearly a push on from London, Dublin and Washington for a major breakthrough"
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:

20 Nov 02 | N Ireland
19 Nov 02 | N Ireland
15 Oct 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