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Joint Statement by British and Irish Governments at Leeds Castle, 18 September 2004

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Text: British and Irish Governments ... Page compiled: Brendan Lynn

Joint Statement by the British and Irish Governments, Leeds Castle, 18 September 2004


"After three days of intensive discussion we believe we can resolve the issues to do with ending paramilitary activity and putting weapons beyond use. However, as a matter of urgency all parties need to conduct consultations on the possible agreement, before we can proceed. But subject to a satisfactory outcome to these consultations, we can finally and at long last resolve the issues of arms in the politics of Northern Ireland, thereby allowing the two governments to implement all the remaining elements of the Joint Declaration, agreed last year."

"There is, however, not yet comprehensive agreement on how to change Strands I, II and III of the Good Friday Agreement without damaging the fundamentals of the fair and inclusive basis of the Agreement, although we believe the parties are close. Discussions will continue between the parties supported by Paul Murphy and Brian Cowen next week to bring them to an early conclusion."

"But let us make one thing clear. The Governments believe that what is on offer now is reasonable in its substance and historic in its meaning. We are determined to move ahead. On the one hand there must be the complete end to violence in all its forms. On the other there must be a genuine, lasting and stable commitment to power-sharing. If agreement cannot be reached, when it is clear it should be, we will find a different way to move this process forward."


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