Republican News · Thursday 18 May 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Inspectors in Ireland

International monitors President Martti Ahtisaari and Cyril Ramaphosa were in Ireland on Monday, 15 May to meet important players in the peace process, inclusing Sinn Féin's Pat Doherty and Bairbre de Brún. In a statement issued, the two men said:

``We are very pleased to be here today. We are well aware of the crucially important nature of the responsibilities which have been entrusted to us.

``Our mandate is to inspect the contents of a number of IRA arms dumps and, having done so, to report on this to the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning. We will regularly re-inspect these dumps to ensure that the weapons have remained secure.

``Our visit here today represents a first step towards fulfilling that mandate. We are having a range of discussions to help us and we are grateful for the co-operation being shown to us.

We do not underestimate the profound importance and the unprecedented nature of the task which we have been asked to undertake.

``People will understand why it would not be helpful or appropriate at this stage for us to make any further public comment about our task. We look forward to making our reports to the Decommissioning Commission and hope that our efforts will prove of enduring benefit to all of the people here.''

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