Leaders say prize benefits NI peace


The Northern Ireland First Minister, Mr David Trimble, said he hoped the Nobel Peace Prize would "encourage" para militaries to begin decommissioning and that the Republican movement in particular "will not let down everybody in Northern Ireland who wants to see progress made".

Speaking on BBC's Break- fast With Frost in his first joint interview with the SDLP leader, Mr John Hume, since the announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize last Friday, Mr Trimble welcomed the award as "international recognition" of the hard work done by everybody in Northern Ireland. He said there had been progress on many fronts but decommissioning and social terrorism still had to be tackled. Addressing those issues "as soon as possible" would be a great boost to the whole peace process.

Mr Hume said the award would be seen as a "strong statement of support" for the will of the people of Northern Ireland and he hoped all parties would do everything in their power to implement all aspects of the Belfast agreement. There remained "differences of opinion" on some aspects of the agreement and its implementation, he said, but if everybody was committed to making it work "we can make substantial progress".