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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February 28, 1996


National Security Adviser Anthony Lake and Northern Ireland's Alliance Party leader Dr. John Alderdice met yesterday evening for close to an hour to discuss the Northern Ireland peace process. The Vice President had been scheduled to join them but was unable to do so.

Mr. Lake and Dr. Alderdice expressed their support for the intensive efforts of the Irish and British Governments to get the cease-fire restored and move the peace process forward. They looked forward to the anticipated summit between Prime Ministers Major and Bruton to announce a path to negotiations for a just and lasting settlement. Mr. Lake reiterated the Administration's commitment to work with the two governments and the parties to achieve that goal.

Mr. Lake and Dr. Alderdice agreed that violence must not be allowed to derail the peace process and frustrate the desire of the people of Northern Ireland for a normal life for themselves and their children. That desire has been demonstrated time and again, most recently by the mass vigil for peace held throughout Northern Ireland and Ireland on Sunday. Mr. Lake expressed appreciation for Dr. Alderdice's contribution to the cause of peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland.

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