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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                        (Greenwich, Connecticut)
For Immediate Release                                       May 17, 2000


Monday, May 22, marks the second anniversary of the referenda in which the voters of Ireland and Northern Ireland overwhelmingly endorsed the Good Friday Accord. Since then, Northern Ireland has made great strides toward becoming a peaceful society, following three decades of violence. Today we are on the threshold of a major achievement -- a lasting political arrangement that will allow the people of Northern Ireland and their representatives to decide their future for themselves by exclusively peaceful means, on the basis of consent. This is a chance to lock in the unprecedented progress that has been attained and propel the process forward. It is an opportunity that must not be lost. I urge the parties to lift their sights, seize the possibilities that are within their grasp, and take the steps necessary to advance the cause of peace.