Andrews welcomes withdrawal of British Army patrols in Belfast
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr David Andrews, T.D., today welcomed the announcement by the RUC Chief Constable, Mr. Ronnie Flanagan, that all British Army patrols are to be taken off the streets of Greater Belfast from this weekend. He also welcomes the Chief Constable's statement that this move will undoubtedly have an impact on troop levels in Northern Ireland generally.
This development represents a positive step forward towards the objective of an early move to normal security arrangements as provided for in the Good Friday Agreement. The Minister looks forward to further early progress on normalisation on the basis of the overall strategy to be published by the British Government.
The Minster also warmly welcomes today's constructive meeting between David Trimble, First Minister and Gerry Adams, the leader of Sinn Féin. In advance of next week's meeting of the Assembly, the Minister urges all the parties to intensify their engagement at this crucial time.