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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release June 3, 1997


Resumption of Belfast Talks

Today in Belfast, Senator George Mitchell reconvened the talks on the future of Northern Ireland that began almost a year ago. I call on the political leaders to seize this precious opportunity and begin the hard but worthwhile work of negotiating a just and lasting settlement. To engage in serious negotiations, to be willing to make principled compromises, requires courage and creativity. Now is the time for the representatives of the people to show the good sense and good will that I saw in such abundance when I visited Northern Ireland. The United States will continue to stand with them as they take on, with the two governments, the demanding task of shaping a peaceful and prosperous future in which all the people of Northern Ireland will have an equal stake.

As I have said so many times, ideally all the elected parties should be at the table when the decisions that shape the future are made. If the IRA declares and implements an unequivocal cease-fire, I am confident that Sinn Fein will be invited to add its voice to the other parties at the table as they forge a new future for themselves and their children.

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