08/11/2002

Irish Government to reconvene Peace Forum

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has announced his intention to reconvene the cross-border Forum for Peace and Reconciliation in an attempt to restore confidence in the political process.

Mr Ahern said the decision was intended to lead to a "general stock-taking and review of the political situation in regard to Northern Ireland".

The first meeting of the restored forum will go ahead in Dublin Castle on November 27.

Established in 1994, the peace forum met on a regular basis at Dublin Castle until 1996, when the IRA bombing of Canary Wharf in London brought their ceasefire to an end.

The forum assembled again after the restoration of the IRA ceasefire in 1997, but did not meet after that with priority given to all-party talks leading up to the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

However, the Forum was never formally dissolved, and the Irish Government has made financial provision for it annually on the basis that future meetings might be useful in helping advance the peace process.

(MB)

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