Minister sets out Government's approach to Strand 3 of the negotiations
Minister sets out Government's approach to Strand 3
of the negotiations
Speaking on behalf of the Irish Government at the opening of Strand Three of the negotiations, the Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs,
Ms Liz O'Donnell, TD, said that "new intergovernmental structures will form a central part of the comprehensive political settlement we envisage emerging from these negotiations".
Minister O'Donnell described the Anglo-Irish Agreement as a very important expression of Anglo-Irish intergovernmental cooperation. However, without in any way detracting from the achievements of the Anglo-Irish Agreement, the Minister said that "the Governments would be prepared to consider a new and more broadly based agreement".
"For nationalists, the Anglo-Irish Agreement has been an expression of their sense of identity and their profound belief that the Irish Government is a natural guardian of their interests. The Agreement has a vital stabilising role in intergovernmental relations and in offering assurance to nationalists in Northern Ireland. These qualities must be retained in any new agreement, acceptable to both traditions, recognising, of course, the strong opposition of Unionists to the existing agreement," the Minister said.
Minister O'Donnell commented that a new Agreement "will have to take account of the vastly more complex arena of activity which is envisaged as part of the settlement by the current talks process". Top