IRA, Disarmament Panel Resume Talks

Associated Press

The Irish Republican Army announced Wednesday that it had resumed direct contact with an independent disarmament commission after a break of more than a year.

"Decommissioning" of weapons is a central issue of Northern Ireland's 1998 Good Friday peace accord, which envisioned that the IRA would gradually disarm in cooperation with the panel.

The British province's joint Roman Catholic-Protestant government, established under the peace agreement, could be shelved, as happened last year, if the disarmament issue isn't resolved soon.

After announcing last week that it intended to meet with the commission, the IRA said Wednesday that the two sides had held face-to-face talks.

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