We can best speak to the Middle East by example: Long

I was interested to hear of David Ervine’s call for a ceasefire in the Israel-Lebanon conflict. Given that an explosives find in Glencairn has raised concerns about UVF activity, and that a North Belfast man who was sent a bullet in the post, believes it came from the UVF, David Ervine should be trying to prevent loyalist violence.

David Ervine should be concentrating all his efforts on getting the UVF to shut up shop for once and for all, instead of commenting on the Israel-Lebanon conflict. Alliance has demanded that Tony Blair call for a ceasefire in the region immediately, and only progressive political parties, such as Alliance, can call with any credibility for ceasefires in international conflicts.

If Mr Ervine cannot deliver an end to UVF activities, it seems a bit rich for him to call for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Lebanon. Given his ill-advised statement on Sunday suggesting that loyalists would react violently to further cross border co-operation, David Ervine, must prove that he wants peace in Northern Ireland before he can comment with any credibility whatsoever on conflicts in other parts of the world.

Cllr Michael Long, Alliance Party Vice Chair and Castlereagh Councillor

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