Review begins tomorrow

Dublin's Minister for Foreign Affairs and the British Direct Ruler in Ireland, Paul Murphy, will jointly chair the first session of the Good Friday Agreement review at Stormont buildings outside Belfast tomorrow.

The review, understood to allow `fine tuning' arrangements of the Agreement when it was signed six years ago, takes place amid political chaos and withiut the implementation or operation of most of the Agreement.

Tomorrow's inaugural session at Stormont will see both ministers make opening speeches about the purpose and course of the review. They will then invite the leaders of the party delegations to do the same, but there is no allowance for debate.

That done, the review will adjourn for the day and reassemble the following day and on most Mondays and Tuesdays until the review is complete.

The DUP last night was denying its own spin that it was prepared to work in assembly structures alongside Sinn Féin after it was understood to mean it would share power with republicans.

A spokesman for the DUP has denied that it had prepared a new formula for the operation of a devolved local administration in the Six Counties ``to put Sinn Féin into government''.

He added :''We intend to publish our general views on the talks process at the end of the week.

``They will be published on Friday for all to see and when they are published everyone will see that what is being proposed is totally in line with our manifesto commitments and seven principles.

``All speculation is just that.''

The party is refusing to take part in a power-sharing Executive with Sinn Féin until the IRA disbands. It is understood to favour using existing Assembly committee to replace the Minister for each department of devolved government, with majority (unionist) rule operating in committee decisions.

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© 2004 Irish Republican News