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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 28, 2005

Statement on U.S. Response to IRA Statement

We welcome today's IRA statement pledging "an end to the armed campaign." This is an important and potentially historic statement.

Consistent with the IRA's commitment to "the development of purely political and democratic programs through exclusively peaceful means" and to "not engage in any other activities whatsoever," we understand that the IRA and its members will no longer have any contact with any foreign paramilitary and terrorist organizations.

This IRA statement must now be followed by actions demonstrating the republican movement's unequivocal commitment to the rule of law and to the renunciation of all paramilitary and criminal activities. We understand that many, especially victims and their families, will be skeptical. They will want to be certain that this terrorism and criminality are indeed things of the past. The Independent International Commission on Decommissioning and the Independent Monitoring Commission will play an important role in assisting the governments to verify that the commitments outlined in today's statement are fully implemented and sustained on the ground.

President Bush salutes Prime Minister Blair and the Irish Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, for their leadership on this issue. The United States remains steadfast in its support for the peace process and continues to work closely with the British and Irish Governments to achieve lasting peace and reconciliation for the people of Northern Ireland under the principles of the Good Friday Agreement.

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