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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 January, 2004, 13:31 GMT
IRA 'concern' over peace process
An IRA mural
The IRA says it had destroyed a huge number of weapons
The IRA says it is "deeply concerned" about the handling of the peace process by the British and Irish governments.

In its New Year statement, the IRA claimed the governments had failed to respond adequately to the most recent act of arms decommissioning.

It insisted its decommissioning in October had been its biggest yet and it expected something in return.

Although expressing frustration, there is no suggestion the organisation's ceasefire is in jeopardy.

The IRA said its October action, as part of a failed choreography to restore the devolved Stormont Assembly, involved "the largest amount of arms to date".

(The British Government) failure to deliver is of deep concern
IRA statement
"After that the sequence was put on hold," the statement continued.

"Since then the two governments have not honoured their part of it.

"Consequently there has been no progress on a range of issues involved.

"The British Government carries the premier responsibility for that. It's failure to deliver is of deep concern."

The IRA has been expecting security reforms.

BBC Ireland correspondent Mark Simpson said republicans have been seeking a reduction in British Army installation and further policing changes.

He added that the statement reflected comments already made by senior Sein Fein figures.

Talks due

The need for a breakthrough in the peace process has intensified ever since Sinn Fein and Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionists emerged from the November elections to the suspended Assembly as the most powerful parties on either side of the union-nationalist divide.

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and Irish Premier Bertie Ahern are trying to find a way to get the two extremes to work together during a review of the April 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

Talks involving all sides in Belfast are due to begin within weeks amid demands from Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams that they are limited to a month.

But with negotiations expected to drag on much longer, the two governments will have to make some tough decisions later in the spring about the future direction of the peace process.


WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC NI's security editor Brian Rowan:
The two governments will have to make some tough decisions about the future direction of the peace process"



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