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BBC NI chief security correspondent Brian Rowan
Reports on the governments' proposals
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Prime Minister Tony Blair
"There is a genuine desire to work this thing out peacefully"
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Saturday, 6 May, 2000, 16:20 GMT 17:20 UK
Governments outline agreement timetable
Letter says RUC name change will go ahead
Letter says RUC name change will go ahead
By BBC NI chief security correspondent Brian Rowan

The BBC has obtained details of the letter sent by Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern to Northern Ireland's political parties.

Sent jointly from the office of the UK prime minister and the office of the Taoiseach, the letter is now with the party leaders.

It sets out a timetable for the implementation of the outstanding elements of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement peace accord signed by the parties.

The Search for Peace
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It says legislation to implement the policing changes recommended by Chris Patten will be in place by November.

The new Policing Board will be appointed by January 2001 and will begin its work in April.

That board will include ten politicians, including two from Sinn Fein.

It says a new independent police recruitment agency will be established. The first recruits will join the Police Service of Northern Ireland in April next year.

On the Criminal Justice Review, legislation and a detailed timetable for its implementation will also be published by April 2001.

Prisoner releases

It also deals with prisoner releases.

The letter confirms that the remainder of prisoners qualifying for early release will be freed by 28 July this year.

And it says measures will continue to be taken to facilitate reintegration of prisoners into the community and to address related issues.

Victim support is also mentioned.

It says that both governments will continue to take measures and develop programmes to support the victims of violence and their families.

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See also:

06 May 00 | Northern Ireland
New proposals for NI process
06 May 00 | Northern Ireland
IRA arms deadline extended
05 May 00 | Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland deal in sight
06 May 00 | Northern Ireland
Assembly statement in full
04 May 00 | Northern Ireland
'Genuine desire' for NI progress
04 May 00 | Northern Ireland
Pace gathers in NI process
02 May 00 | Northern Ireland
Q and A: Northern Ireland talks
28 Apr 00 | Northern Ireland
'IRA weapons rethink needed'
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