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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 1, 2001

Statement by the President on Northern Ireland

This morning I telephoned Prime Ministers Blair and Ahern to state my strong support for the package of proposals their governments released today to the political party leaders in Northern Ireland.

I believe the package is fair and that it charts the way forward in areas central to the Good Friday Agreement. The package allows the people of Northern Ireland to sustain devolved government and establish a police service with broad public support. It provides further steps for normalizing the security presence in Northern Ireland and assuring the stability and integrity of the Good Friday Agreements political institutions. The proposals also recognize that a commitment to democratic governance and normalized security requires all parties to renounce violence and deal decisively with paramilitary weapons. Consequently, substantial progress on decommissioning is an essential part of todays package.

In my conversation this morning, I commended the Prime Ministers for their continuing leadership on behalf of peace. I reiterated to them that the United States stands ready to help in any way that the governments and the parties find useful. I now urge all parties in Northern Ireland to reflect carefully on todays proposals and to do everything in their power to make permanent the progress of the past three years by taking the next steps to implement the Good Friday Agreement.


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