Loyalist fringe parties welcome new proposals

 

THE loyalist fringe parties, the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP) and the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP), have welcomed the proposals in the Anglo Irish communique.

Mr David Ervine of the PUP, which reflects UVF thinking, said he believed that the proposals would create a formula for real movement towards a political settlement.

"There is little more that I could hope for," he said. "At long last we now have an opportunity to debate the Mitchell principles with those who really matter."

His party would now have a debate with the loyalist paramilitaries, as "loudly and forcibly as it can" to see what difficulties they may have with the six Mitchell pence principles.

"I think there can be good news coming out of that", said Mr Ervine.

Mr Gary McMichael, leader of the UDP, which reflects the UDA viewpoint, said his party was equally convinced that the peace process must move forward.

He said the UDP would engage intensively in the multilateral consultations beginning on Monday.

Mr David Adams of the UDP said the challenge was now for Sinn Fein and the IRA to react positively to the communique.

They had the choice of engaging in the process or excluding themselves.