23 September 2000
I am proud to have been part of an Administration that helped create the conditions that resulted in the Good Friday Agreement. Our decision to grant a visa to Gerry Adams in 1994, against the advice of so many, led to the IRA ceasefire later that year. That ceasefire, along with that of the Loyalists, led to multi-party talks so ably chaired by former Senator George Mitchell. We helped broker the Good Friday Agreement, the best hope to achieve truly lasting peace for the island of Ireland. I am very proud of that achievement. But we must remain actively involved and be of whatever assistance we can to the parties and the two Governments.
I also want to make clear my position on the Patten Commission's recommendations for police reform in Northern Ireland. I urge the British Government to fully and expeditiously implement these recommendations. The goal of the Patten Commission's recommendations is to take politics out of policing and to create a police service in Northern Ireland that meets the highest possible standards and that enjoys the support of both communities.
I will continue to support full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, and I look forward to the day when the decommissioning of all illegally-held paramilitary arms is achieved.
I am committed to finding a solution to the problem of deportees and extraditions. I will look at this issue in the context and in the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement.
I want to assure you that Northern Ireland will remain high on my foreign policy agenda. No Administration has done more to advance the cause of peace in Northern Ireland than the current Administration, and Joe Lieberman and I promise to continue on that path.
31 July 2000
Republicans welcome the historic reconciliation in Northern Ireland that is slowly bringing peace and a representative local assembly to this beautiful land that means so much to Americans. We congratulate the people of Northern Ireland for their approval of the Good Friday Agreement, and we call for the full and fastest possible implementation of its terms. In the spirit of that healing document, we call for a review of issues of deportation and extradition arising prior to the accord. We applaud the work of the Patten Commission to reform the police authorities in Northern Ireland and urge complete implementation of the Commission's recommendations. The sufferings of the people on the island of Ireland have been our sorrow too, and the new hope for peace and reconciliation is the answer to America's prayers. We continue to support this progress toward peace and justice and, accordingly, we encourage private US investment in the North, with care to ensure fair employment and better opportunities for all.
Though the burdens of history weigh heavily upon this land, we cheer its people for taking the lead in building for themselves and for their children a future of peace and understanding. The next president will use the prestige and influence of the United States to help the parties achieve a lasting peace. If necessary, he will appoint a special envoy to help facilitate the search for lasting peace, justice and reconciliation.