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Note of Meeting between UUP and IICD, 23 October 2001

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Note of the meeting, on Tuesday 23 October 2001, between the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD). Note taken and released by the UUP. Meeting was held to discuss the IRA's act of decommissioning (on 23 October 2001).

John De Chastelain (Gen.) (IICD head): The three of us have witnessed an event which complies with the decommissioning legislation and regulations. We are all satisfied that the process renders the materials permanently unusable or unavailable.

David Trimble (UUP leader): You are quite satisfied with that?

De Chastelain: Yes, we would not have said so otherwise.

Trimble: Can we say that the material has been rendered permanently unavailable or unusable? There has been speculation that the dumps would be sealed with a concrete cap. Is it a cap?

De Chastelain: We are not prepared to go into methodologies but it is not a cap. That would not meet the requirements. The method used does meet the requirements.

Trimble: The material - arms etc., were significant ...

De Chastelain: The event is significant. Since I have been here, I have seen wall murals many times which say: "Not a bullet. Not an ounce." I can assure you there is more than a bullet and an ounce but I cannot say how much. We can say, however, that we have taken inventories and it contains a range of materials.

Trimble: Downing Street have used the term substantial.

De Chastelain: We have made it clear to O'Neill (codename used for the IRA) that a lack of transparency makes things difficult but we want to get other events and don't want to create difficulties there. We will continue our engagement with O'Neill and expect our next meeting to be soon.

Trimble: There is the potential for difficulty if they don't continue.

De Chastelain: And we will not be here if that is the case.

Trimble: Did you take any other evidence, photographs for example?

De Chastelain: No, but I can tell you that we all handled the arms and weapons to check they were genuine, we counted them and the ammunition, and we weighed the explosives.

James Cooper (UUP chairman): You have used the term "further the process" in your statement. Is this because you intend to take the process further?

De Chastelain: Yes. The process has now started. We expect O'Neill to assess how others now react within their organisation.

Cooper: Can we say that, having had this event and hoping for another meeting, this is a beginning of an ongoing process?

De Chastelain: Yes. If O'Neill had said this was a one-off event, we would have reported that. Far from it, we were given no such indication.

Roy Beggs (UUP Westminster chief whip): I am satisfied the issue of capping has been cleared up. It is now a matter of where you place your trust.

De Chastelain: Yes.

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