``Crisis can be averted'' - IRA
The IRA issued the following statement to RTE News on Saturday, 5 February, its second public contribution to reiterate its position with regard to the peace process inside a week.
``The British Secretary of state has accused the IRA of betrayal over the issue of decommissioning. Similar allegations have been made by others. The British Secretary of State has now used this in threatening to collapse the political institutions. We totally reject these allegations.
``The IRA has never entered into any agreement, undertaking or understanding at any time with any one on any aspect of decommissioning. We have not broken our commitment or betrayed anyone. It was the IRA who took the first step to remove the gun from Irish politics by silencing our weapons. By so doing we created the space for the development of the peace process and for politics to work. Those who have once again made the political process conditional on the decommissioning of silent IRA arms are responsible for creating the current difficulties and keeping the political process in a state of perpetual crisis.
``The IRA believes that this crisis can be averted and the issue of arms can be resolved. This will not be on British or unionist terms nor will it be advanced by British legislative threats. We recognise the issue of arms needs to be dealt with in an acceptable way and this is a necessary objective of a genuine peace process - for that reason we are engaged with the IICD [decommissioning body]. We have supported and will continue to support efforts to secure the resolution of the arms issue. The peace process is under no threat from the IRA.''