Comments by Andrews a marker for unity - Dodds


The DUP secretary, Mr Nigel Dodds, has said that remarks by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Andrews, show that the objective of the peace process is Irish unity. "The comments by David Andrews that there would be cross-Border bodies with executive powers `like a government' expose exactly what the current talks process is all about," he said.

"The setting up of such bodies is the main objective of the two governments and the current talks process is simply the vehicle to achieve it.

"Mr Andrews's comments show that Dublin has learned nothing over the last 25 years and still refuses to recognise the right of the people of Northern Ireland to self-determination."

Mr Dodds said the Minister's remarks once again called into question the judgement of the Ulster Unionist leader, Mr David Trimble, who had said that progress was being made in his negotiations with the Government.

He added that the DUP, by contrast, recognised the reality of the talks process.

It was not surprised by Mr Andrews's "belligerent" stance since the Downing Street Declaration and the Framework Document envisaged joint sovereignty and both documents formed the foundations for the Stormont negotiations.