Failure to restore Assembly and end paramilitarism ‘deeply disappointing’

ALLIANCE Leader David Ford has said that the failure to reach final agreement on decommissioning should not overshadow the fact that arrangements for a restored Assembly are now in place.

Speaking ahead of a special meeting of the Alliance Party Executive this evening, Mr Ford said:

“Today is a deeply disappointing day in many ways. We have seen a lack of willingness for the DUP and Sinn Fein to move forward together, due to a lack of confidence in each other’s bona fides.

“But the fact remains that agreement was reached by the parties and governments on the structures for a restored government for Northern Ireland.

“I warmly welcome this progress, in which Alliance played a major role by putting forward compromises that were largely acceptable to and accepted by both Sinn Fein and the DUP, and by the Government.

“However, the Governments cannot now move the process forward without addressing at the same time the deep divisions and ingrained patterns of segregation that contribute to the deadlock.

“These proposals are only a basis for restoring the Assembly, but much deeper change is needed to place it on a stable and equitable basis.”

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