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Tuesday, February 15, 2000, updated at 11:23(GMT+8)
World Peace Process in Serious Crisis: Irish FM

Irish Foreign Minister Brian Cowen Monday urged the re-establishment of the suspended Northern Ireland executive "as quickly as possible."

Following a meeting with the Sinn Fein leadership, Cowen said the peace process is in a "very serious situation."

"I am satisfied that the exchange of views we have had have been productive in helping me make the case for the re-establishment of the institutions absolutely as quickly as possible and without delay," he told reporters outside Sinn Fein's west Belfast headquarters.

Cowen is due to have talks with other party leaders, including Ulster Unionist Party David Trimble, and a working dinner with Britain's Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Mandelson before reporting to the Irish government Friday.

The IRA had earlier come under renewed pressure to clarify its stance on disarming as talks got under way to launch a fresh review of Northern Ireland's peace process.

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