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|Thursday, March 08, 2001, updated at 20:54(GMT+8)|
IRA Intends to Renew Talks with Disarmament CommissionThe Irish Republican Army (IRA) said on Thursday that it is ready to have further talks with Northern Ireland's international disarmament commission led by General John de Chastelain.
But the IRA added in a statement that if these were to be successful, the government must deliver on an agreement made last May on issues including policing and demilitarization in Northern Ireland.
Under the agreement, the IRA was to disarm gradually while the British government would dismantle its military bases in Northern Ireland and reform the police service there.
The statement, which set no date for the renewal of dialogue, came hours ahead of planned negotiations on Thursday by British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his Irish counterpart, Bertie Ahern, with the Northern Ireland parties in an effort to break the political stalemate.
The talks follow weeks of intense negotiations aimed at breaking the deadlock over the policing reform, IRA disarmament and demilitarization, issues which are threatening to destabilize Northern Ireland's power-sharing institutions.
The IRA said it had received a detailed briefing on the recent intensive political talks.
The government position "was unacceptable" but the IRA remained committed to "the quest for a lasting peace," the IRA said.
The IRA, a paramilitary group seeking to unify Ireland, suspended talks with the disarmament body in July last year.
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