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Northern Ireland and peace settlement



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M E D IA RELEASE d j f r

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS ALEXANDER DOWNER

FA42 11 April 1998

NORTHERN IRELAND PEACE SETTLEMENT

I want to join with others in the global community in welcoming the announcement of an historic peace settlement in Northern Ireland and I congratulate all parties concerned for their patience and perseverence in rising above the sad sectarian divisions which have characterised so much of Northern Ireland’s history.

Talks Chairman George Mitchell and Prime Ministers Blair and Ahem also deserve special thanks and praise for their concerted efforts to bring about peace.

While the agreement still has to be put to referendums next month, I feel confident it will be endorsed by the people who have suffered for so long and who have always wanted a lasting settlement.

The Australian Government has long been an active supporter of the peace process, not least through its $7 million contribution to the International Fund for Ireland. The Fund was set up to promote economic and social advancement and encourage reconciliation between nationalists and unionists in the areas worst affected by the violence of recent years.

Media Inquiries: Innes Willox - (02) 6277 7500 or 0411 414 695

Tony Melville/Kirk Coningham (02) 6261 1555

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