THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY
The Vice President met for half an hour yesterday afternoon with Dick Spring, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Republic of Ireland. The President dropped by for part of the meeting. National Security Advisor Anthony Lake also participated.
The focus of the discussion between the President and Vice President and Deputy Prime Minister Spring was the peace process in Northern Ireland. The President and Vice President commended the efforts of the Irish government to bring about the cease-fire that began in August of last year and reiterated their belief that the guns and bombs must be banished for good from Northern Ireland. The President reiterated his view that the best guarantee of a just and lasting peace is for all concerned to engage in a meaningful dialogue about their aspirations for the future.
The President and Vice President emphasized their continued support for the efforts of the Irish and British Governments to restore momentum to the process. They stated that they see a basis for progress in the "twin-track" proposal to begin inclusive talks between the two governments and the Northern Ireland political parties and to establish an international body on the decommissioning of weapons. The President and Vice President voiced their hope that all the sides will continue to be flexible and creative in the search for a lasting peace.
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