THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY
PRESIDENTIAL MEETING WITH DR. IAN PAISLEY
The leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, the Reverend Ian Paisley, met at the White House today with National Security Advisor Anthony Lake for half an hour. The President joined them for part of the meeting.
The President, Mr. Lake and Dr. Paisley deplored the end of the IRA cease-fire and reiterated their condemnation of the bombings in London last month. The President underscored his belief that the vast majority of the people of Northern Ireland are firmly committed to peace and democracy and desire a lasting settlement to the conflict that has darkened their lives for a generation. He expressed his determination to support the people of Northern Ireland and the parties that represent them in their efforts to achieve that goal.
The President and Mr. Lake discussed with Dr. Paisley the process leading to substantive talks on the future of Northern Ireland starting on June 10, in particular the announcement made earlier today in London about the election on May 30 and the role of the elected forum. They emphasized the importance the United States attaches to the viewpoints of both communities in Northern Ireland and the need for political parties to stay engaged in the process. The President described the role of the United States in supporting the search for peace. He stressed that the United States has no preferred outcome to the negotiations, but wants to see a just and lasting settlement in Northern Ireland.
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