IRA Disarmament Plan Rejected

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BELFAST, Northern Ireland: A plan to disarm the Irish Republican Army was rejected by pro-British Protestants in Northern Ireland talks today. TIME London bureau chief Barry Hillenbrand reports that the setback increases the pressure on the British and Irish governments, which authored today's defeated proposal, to come up with a more acceptable plan. "The pro-British parties rejected the disarmament plan because the Irish and British governments were, in their opinion, not clear enough or specific enough as to when IRA disarmament will take place. What will happen now is that both governments will try to find a new plan which will be agreeable to the Unionists but at the same time won't violate the kind of understanding they have made with the IRA." Will the British and Irish governments be able to convince the IRA to lay down its arms at a specific point in upcoming negotiations? Hillenbrand reports it won't be easy, calling it a "major finessing trick which both governments will try to pull off this summer." Despite today's rejection, Hillenbrand says the Protestants may yet be won over. "The person to pay attention to here is David Trimble, leader of Northern Ireland's largest Protestant party. Although he has vetoed the disarmament plan, he has indicated he will not walk out on the negotiations, which means the process is still alive."