Refusing To Bow To Terror

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LONDON: In the wake of an IRA bombing which killed two, injured 37 and caused $125 million in property damage, Prime Minister John Major announced that Britain would not necessarily abandon peace talks with the organization. In a speech before the House of Commons on Monday, Major said there were "ways forward to negotiations with all the parties, but only if there is a return to the ceasefire". A disagreement over the timing of renewed talks is complicating the restoration of the ceasefire. While Major wants to complete the election of a special British peace-negotiating assembly before resuming all-party negotiations, Irish Prime Minister John Bruton believes waiting for elections will inflame Irish fustrations with the already slow pace of the talks. Time's Barry Hillenbrand says the bomb is the manifestation of a disagreement between Sinn Fein, the legal political wing of the IRA that initiated negotiations and the militant IRA Army Council. "The Army Council has delivered a message of frustration with the slow peace talks. They have decided to go back to war. No one really knows, however, what the IRA intends to do in the future, if it wants to force the negotiations to resume at the IRA's pace or if it has returned to armed struggle."