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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February 8, 1996


This morning Irish Deputy Prime Minister Dick Spring met for half an hour with the Vice President for a discussion of Northern Ireland and European issues. The President participated in part of the meeting.

The President and the Vice President discussed the status of the Northern Ireland peace process with the Deputy Prime Minister. They underscored their strong support for the efforts of the Irish and British Governments, the parties, and the people of Northern Ireland to achieve a just and lasting settlement to the conflict there. The President reiterated his long-standing view that the path to such a settlement is through an inclusive dialogue, and he emphasized the importance of rapid progress to all-party talks.

The President and the Deputy Prime Minister discussed the recommendations for advancing the peace process made in the report of the international body on decommissioning chaired by Senator Mitchell. The President, the Vice President and Deputy Prime Minister Spring praised the contribution that Senator Mitchell and his colleagues have made to the process. Now that the international body has made its recommendations on decommissioning, the President and Vice President encouraged all parties to focus on the political track of the twin track process in order to move rapidly to all-party talks.

The President and the Vice President thanked the Deputy Prime Minister for Ireland's contribution to implementing the Bosnia settlement. The Vice President and the Deputy Prime Minister also discussed Ireland's upcoming EU presidency and other issues.

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