Alliance Leader tells Blair there is no quick fix for Assembly

Alliance Party Leader, David Ford, has criticised the Prime Minister for failing to call for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah, when large numbers of civilian are being killed. David Ford stated that Tony Blair’s unwillingness to act quickly in the Middle East contrasts with his behaviour on Northern Ireland.

David Ford has asked why Mr Blair has called for the slow option of a comprehensive agreement to resolve the Lebanon-Israel conflict, yet he always tries to force a quick fix upon Northern Ireland.

David Ford stated: “I am horrified that Mr Blair will not join the international community in calling for an immediate ceasefire to help bring an end to this terrible conflict.

“Mr Blair has asked that the current Israel-Lebanon conflict be resolved through dialogue and a fully comprehensive and exhaustively-planned agreement. Why does he insist on adopting a different tactic for Northern Ireland?

“For the past three and a half years, Tony Blair has been trying to force hasty and ill-conceived plans upon Northern Ireland in his increasingly desperate attempts to re-establish devolution here.

“Can Tony Blair not see that the last time he went for the quick fix solution, the deal broke down in its final stages?

“We cannot paper over the cracks in the Agreement and try to make do with an unsatisfactory deal again. To do so would have disastrous long-term consequences.”

David Ford concluded: “I call Mr Blair to allow us to make a deal which will work and will deliver stable devolved government in the long term.”


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