[Sinn Fein]

5 December 2000

IRA has honoured commitments; Onus for progress on British - Gerry Kelly

Sinn Fein North Belfast Assembly member Gerry Kelly has welcomed today's IRA statement.

He described it as ``a positive development in which the IRA reasserts its May commitments while focusing on the failure of the British Government to keep its word, and the difficulties this has created''.

Mr Kelly said:

``Despite obvious evidence of British bad faith in failing to keep commitments it made last November, and again in May, the IRA has kept to and honoured its commitments.

``The IRA believes the issue of arms can and should be dealt with as part of a conflict resolution process, and in May, in an unprecedented and historic initiative, it set out the political context in which this could be achieved.

``The British Government has not honoured its part of the deal but instead created the space for David Trimble to back-track at the Ulster Unionist Council meeting on 28 October.  The British approach has sapped the potential for progress which the May agreement held.

``Tony Blair needs to unlock the door to progress which his lack of action has slammed shut.  That means honouring, by word and by deed, the commitments he made last November and last May.

``That means substantial in-your-face demilitarisation.

``That means implementing the Patten Report.  That will require introducing amending legislation in the British parliament.  He must do this as a matter of urgency.

``The IRA has honoured all its obligations.

``It has demonstrated courage and vision.  It has remained faithful to the peace process which its cessation made possible.

``The onus of responsibility for real political progress now rests with the British Government.''

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