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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February 22, 1995


I welcome today's announcement by Irish Prime Minister Bruton and British Prime Minister Major of the launching of a Joint Framework Document outlining their shared proposals for inclusive talks on the future of Northern Ireland. The publication of this document marks another significant step forward in the peace process. I congratulate both Prime Ministers, former Irish Prime Minister Albert Reynolds, Irish Foreign Minister Dick Spring, and British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Sir Patrick Mayhew, all of whom have worked hard and risked much in the search for a new path forward to reconciliation and lasting peace.

The Framework Document lays the foundation for all- party talks among the British and Irish governments and the political parties in Northern Ireland. The talks are intended to be all-inclusive, with all issues on the table. As the Irish and British governments have emphasized, the document is designed to assist discussion and negotiation on Northern Ireland and will not be imposed on any party. The clear wish of the people of Northern Ireland is for a lasting peace. We call upon all the parties to examine the document carefully and move forward on the basis of it.

The guns and bombs have been silent in Northern Ireland for almost six months. The benefits of peace are obvious to all and I urge the parties to seize this opportunity. I will continue to strongly support the peace process in Northern Ireland and to work with the governments of Ireland and the United Kingdom to build on today's courageous step forward toward lasting peace. In addition, I look forward to our Trade and Investment Conference to be held this May as a way to underscore the tangible benefits to peace.

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