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Statement by the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February 1, 1994


The Vice President met with British Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd today. The Foreign Secretary also met last evening with Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Anthony Lake. The Vice President emphasized the importance the U.S. attaches to close cooperation with our British ally on a range of global issues on which our common values and interests unite us, including support for reform in Russia, efforts to strengthen NATO and reach out to Europe's new democracies, and the search for peace in Bosnia, Ireland and the Middle East.

The Vice President underscored our admiration for the courage and vision of Prime Ministers Major and Reynolds in putting forward a new framework for peace in Northern Ireland. He reiterated our conviction that the December 15 Joint Declaration of the two governments provides an historic opportunity to end the tragic violence. It provides a process by which all parties who eschew violence -- in deeds as well as words -- can participate in building a peaceful and prosperous Northern Ireland.

We hope that today's conference on Northern Ireland hosted by the National Committee on American Foreign Policy in New York will encourage all who have yet to do so to embrace this important Declaration. We reiterate our firm belief that the time has come to bring an end to all violence and to negotiate an end to the conflict in Northern Ireland.

The Irish and British governments have made clear their readiness to widen the political process. We urge all the people of both traditions in Northern Ireland to reject violence and join that process. We must not lose this historic opportunity to advance the cause of peace in Northern Ireland.

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