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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                           (Ankara, Turkey)
For Immediate Release                                  November 15, 1999


I am heartened by George Mitchell's interim report issued in Belfast today, stating that he is increasingly confident that a way will be found to resolve the current impasse in implementing the Good Friday Accord. I look forward to the parties' statements on their positions in the next day or so.

Senator Mitchell has concluded that the pro-Agreement parties and the governments share the view that devolution should occur and the political institutions should be established at the earliest possible date. He has also concluded that it is common ground that decommissioning of paramilitary weapons should occur as quickly as possible and that the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning, led by General de Chastelain, should play the central role in achieving this, under the terms of the Good Friday Accord.

I applaud the persistence that the parties have shown through the last ten weeks of grueling negotiations. Now the parties must move forward to implement the Agreement in full and carry out their obligations as spelled out in the Good Friday Accord.

I want to express my personal appreciation to George Mitchell for his remarkable work.

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