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US papers call for movement from IRA

AS the British and Irish governments hold crunch talks to save the flagging peace process, America's most prominent newspapers have added their voice to the call for a decommissioning "token" from the IRA.

AS the British and Irish governments hold crunch talks to save the flagging peace process, America's most prominent newspapers have added their voice to the call for a decommissioning "token" from the IRA.

The Washington Post, one of the most influencial papers in the US, has called on President Clinton to "publicly insist that the IRA begin disarmament".

Lashing out at the silence from Congress on the issue, a frank editorial read: "Neither the administration nor the leadership in Congress is willing to denounce the IRA for its intransigence. The silence harms the prospects for a settlement that was once a fine testament to America's peace-making prowess..

"The IRA's leaders need to know that their allies in this country will not indulge them if they break up the peace process."

The Los Angeles Times criticised Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, saying that "he should know" the IRA's commitment to peace "is not enough".

"What is needed is proof that the IRA is taking the necessary steps to disarm. Instead, the paramilitary organisation remains stubbornly quiet on arms.

"The decommissioning should begin at once and all parties should, with good sense and a willingness to capture a historic moment, renew their commitment to work in the political realm."

The New York Post expressed dismay that Northern Ireland's Executive is on the brink of collapse.

Calling for the IRA to disarm, its editorial said "no self-respecting democracy can function in the face of internal armed threat. It shouldn't be asked even to try".

The voice of Irish-America, the Boston Herald, sympathised with Mr Trimble's position and urged talks to continue.

Its editorial vented its frustration at Sinn Fein, saying: "If Adams and his associates in the IRA didn't understand what Trimble was doing in November, it was their duty to speak up."

The New York Post: "It is time for the IRA to come to terms with reality: History has passed the gunmen by."

The Washington Post: "The IRA's leaders need to know that their allies in this country will not indulge them if they break up the peace process."

The Boston Herald: "If Adams and his associates in the IRA didn't understand what Trimble was doing in November, it was their duty to speak up."


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