Irish Republican News · January 9, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Review of GFA to begin January 29th

The Irish Prime Minister, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, has confirmed the review of the Good Friday Agreement will start on January 29th.

The review will involve all the parties elected to the Belfast Assembly, which was suspended in October 2002.

According to Mr Ahern, Irish and British government officials will meet next week to organise the operation of the review.

``It is my view that the review should meet formally two days a week,'' Mr Ahern added.

While most parties have called for a short, time-limited review, there has been speculation that it could last until Easter or even beyond.

Mr Ahern made the announcement after meeting Alliance Party leader David Ford.

Mr Ford said the British and Irish Governments appeared to be looking at a review which could last several months.

``The target appears to be two or three months,'' Mr Ford said. ``However there is a recognition that given the amount of work which will have to be done it could take longer.''

The cross-community Alliance Party published its proposals for the review of the Good Friday Agreement on Wednesday.

It called for a change to the way devolved governments are established in the North of Ireland. It wants a voluntary coalition similar to the ones operating in Scotland and Wales.

This would be accountable to the Assembly, instead of the inclusive power-sharing executive involving unionist and nationalist parties.

Mr Ahern said last week both the British and Irish Governments had made it clear the Good Friday Agreement could be reviewed, but they were not prepared to make fundamental changes to it.

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© 2004 Irish Republican News