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Britain's premier says IRA's campaign is over

Britain's premier says IRA's campaign is over

The door is now open to a final settlement in the Northern Ireland crisis following an independent commission's report concluding that the Irish Republican Army's terror campaign is over, Britain's premier said Wednesday.
Tony Blair said there is now consensus that change will only come through dialogue _ even though he acknowledged that some would be skeptical of the report's claims. However, he said the IRA had done what it was asked to do.
"The door is now open for a final settlement (in Northern Ireland)," Blair told reporters during a brief statement at his office. He took no questions after the briefing.
Talks open next week in Scotland with the hope of making progress for a final settlement in the decades-old conflict.
The Independent Monitoring Commission's report deemed that the IRA campaign was over. The report's conclusions could spur a revival of Catholic-Protestant cooperation in Northern Ireland.
"In short, Sinn Fein and the IRA are following the political path and the commitment to exclusively democratic means," Blair said, referring to the IRA-linked political party that represents most Catholics.
"The IRA's campaign is over," he said. "There is now a consensus among all the main players in the politics of Northern Ireland that peace can only come through persuasion and not through any violence of any sort."


Updated : 2021-05-18 08:44 GMT+08:00