The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 26, 2005

U.S. Response to IRA Statement on Decommissioning

We welcome today's statement by the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD) that the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) has comprehensively and verifiably disarmed. This announcement marks an historic day for Northern Ireland and is extremely encouraging for all those who support the peace process, the rule of law, and a Northern Ireland free from sectarian violence. It also marks an opportunity for all parties to renew efforts to reach a sustainable political settlement in Northern Ireland.

President Bush commends the efforts of General John de Chastelain and his fellow IICD commissioners, and applauds the efforts of Sinn Fein in bringing the republican community to this moment.

The United States calls on all other paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland, whether loyalist or republican, to engage with the IICD to bring about total decommissioning at the earliest possible date.

The IRA's decommissioning is a critical first step in fulfilling the terms of the IRA's July 28 statement to pursue its goals through exclusively peaceful and democratic means. The IRA's laudable decommissioning must 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. The United States further calls on Sinn Fein, the IRA, and all republicans to fully support the police service.

The United States remains steadfast in its support for the peace process and the work of 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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