The Sinn Féin negotiator, Gerry Kelly, has said that his party is committed to making the Mitchell review of the Good Friday Agreement work. He was responding to comments by the Northern Secretary, Peter Mandelson, who said that both communities would not forgive their politicians if they fail to deliver peace. Mr. Kelly said that Sinn Fein's political will was absolute. Earlier, Mr. Mandelson said that people expected their politicians to deliver what they voted for, a real chance for local people to take charge of local affairs. The Ulster Unionist leader said, this morning, that the peace process would not fail through want of effort on the part of his party.
Peter Mandelson was speaking as the North's parties met again ahead of the return of George Mitchell tomorrow. He was addressing a meeting of local partnership boards, and said that he had been encouraged by the developments of the last week because politicians had been working together, face to face. Senator Mitchell is due back to the North tomorrow when he may give the parties a paper setting out possible compromises that could surmount the problems of decommissioning and the formation of an executive.
This morning, David Trimble urged paramilitaries to show their commitment to the change to a peaceful society. The Ulster Unionist leader was speaking in Belfast, before his party took part in more negotiations between. Mr. Trimble said that there was considerable communication taking place between his party and Sinn Féin. Mr Trimble indicated that the pro-Agreement parties were not as close to the formation of a power-sharing executive as he would like them to be.
The Ulster Unionists' spokesman on Security, Ken Maginnis, has described today's talks as a way of trying to build trust between the two main protagonists. While there have been reports of an improved negotiating atmosphere between Sinn Féin and the Ulster Unionists, both parties have said that there is no guarantee that a deal can be struck.