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Remarks by the President and Prime Minister Blair

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Office of the Press Secretary
(Denver, Colorado)

For Immediate Release June 21, 1997


Denver Public Library
Denver, Colorado

11:44 A.M. MDT

Q -- reaction to the bombing today, especially after you offered Sinn Fein a place at the table?

PRIME MINISTER BLAIR: Well, obviously, this is another appalling terrorist act, and it simply underlines the need for peace and to move this process forward, and that the longer we go on with these acts of terrorism, the less prospect there is of doing what everyone in Northern Ireland wants to happen, which is to get a lasting political settlement based on democratic and nonviolent means. And what is essential is for Sinn Fein and everyone else to realize that if they want to be part of that process, they have got to engage in purely democratic means. Now, that has been clear all the way through, it is clear now, and it is not right to make the people of Northern Ireland wait any longer for the lasting political settlement they want to achieve.

Q Mr. President, do you have a reaction?

Q Do you have any specific information -- you say ait was an act of terrorism -- specific information on who caused it?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Let me answer your question first. First of all, you know this is something that I attach great importance to, and I have been very encouraged by the approach that Prime Minister Blair has made. We have supported consistently the efforts of the British and the Irish governments to bring peace.

I was appalled at the murders of the two officers just a few days ago. I deplore this act today. But I, frankly, think now the ball is in Sinn Fein's court. We all have to decide now, everybody has decisions to make in life and their decision is are they going to be part of this peace process, or not. And so I hope the answer will be yes.

I know what the people want. Just before I came out here I had two school teachers from Northern Ireland, one Catholic, one Protestant, who had received awards for working for peace. That's what the people want. That's the human face of this. And I think the politicians need to get in gear and give the people the peace they want.

PRIME MINISTER BLAIR: What we are doing --

Q Can you confirm that a place was offered --

PRIME MINISTER BLAIR: Michael, let me just say to you that what we're doing and what we have been doing as a government is simply to try and give expression to the will of the overwhelming majority of people in Northern Ireland who want

a decent, lasting, peaceful settlement to the problems there. And that chance is there and we can do it. And I think enormous goodwill exists. It exists here in America, with the Irish government, the British government -- enormous goodwill exists. And now it is for those people who have been holding up this process to come in and make sure that we get that lasting settlement the people want.

Thank you very much.

PRESIDENT CLINTON: We've got to go back to work.

THE PRESS: Thank you.

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