Tuesday, September 7, 1999 Published at 22:56 GMT 23:56 UK
UK: Northern Ireland
Mitchell denies he is 'dispirited' over review
Mitchell tackles decommissioning and devolved powers deadlock
Former US senator George Mitchell was involved in a terse exchange of views with the leader of the UK Unionist Party, Robert McCartney, during the second day of his review of the Good Friday Agreeement.
Mr McCartney, who is opposed to the agreement, described Mr Mitchell as "totally dispirited".
Afterwards a spokesman for Mr Mitchell denied that he had been feeling pessimistic.
In a reference to the poor relationship between the two men the spokesman said that if Mr Mitchell had been dispirited it was probably at the prospect of meeting Mr McCartney.
He said: ''Mitchell, having facilitated Sinn Fein/IRA's entry into negotiations without decommissioning, having facilitated Sinn Fein's entry into the Agreement without decommissioning, is now here to facilitate Sinn Fein into government without decommissioning.''
The UK Unionists have still not decided if they will take part in further discussions, but two other parties, the Northern Ireland Unionist Party, and the United Unionist Assembly Party are boycotting the review.
He spoke to the Progressive Unionist Party, which is linked to the UVF and Red Hand Commando, and the Ulster Democratic Party, which is linked to the UDA.
The PUP's David Ervine said he feared the politicians were not mature enough to take responsibility for creating an accountable democracy which the people had "lusted for and screamed for, for a very long time."
He said: ''All we have to do is put our hands out and take it but the politicians seem to be lagging way behind the people.''
Afterwards Mr Neeson said he was concerned about the "arrogance" of the leadership of the Ulster Unonist Party and Sinn Fein.
"It is not their agreement, it is the people's agreement.
"I think that the real danger that we are facing at the moment is that this blind arrogance of these people could well give victory to the anti-agreement people."
Another pro-agreement party, the Women's Coalition, urged everyone to give the review a chance to succeed.
Party leader Monica McWilliams said: "Everyone in this country is always blaming somebody else for the troubles. We have one last opportunity to resolve all our troubles.
On Monday Mr Mitchell met the leaders of the four major parties at Stormont, Belfast, and urged them to grasp the chance for peace.
He said the review would be short and tightly focused on breaking the impasse over forming a power-sharing government at Stormont and decommissioning all terrorist weapons by May 2000.
But there was little sign of progress, as the Ulster Unionists and Sinn Fein continued to blame each other for the deadlock in the peace process.
Sinn Fein accused the UUP of stalling because they did not want to sit in government with republicans.
And anti-agreement Democratic Unionist leader Ian Paisley told Mr Mitchell his party wanted to wreck the peace deal because it could not accept terrorists in government.