Prime Minister double standards on Middle East

Alliance South Belfast representative, Allan Leonard, has asked why the
British Prime Minister has called for a comprehensive agreement to
resolve the Lebanon-Israel conflict, but continues to work for a quick
fix for Northern Ireland. Allan Leonard has also questioned why Tony
Blair hasn’t taken the experience of the Good Friday Agreement towards
his approach to the Middle East conflict.

Leonard, who is also Alliance Party General Secretary, stated: “Tony
Blair has asked that the current Israel-Lebanon conflict be resolved
through dialogue and a fully comprehensive and exhaustively-planned
agreement. Why does he insist on adopting a different tactic for
Northern Ireland?

“For the past three and a half years, Mr Blair has been trying to
force hasty and ill-conceived plans upon Northern Ireland in his
increasingly desperate attempts to re-establish devolution here.

“Can Mr Blair not see that the last time he went for the quick fix solution, the deal broke down in its final stages?

“The Good Friday Agreement was achieved after much dialogue and
compromise among the widest possible spectrum of political
representation. The stalemates which have been experienced since then
have been made worse by the Governments’ strategy of pursuing
side-deals with individual parties, in the desperate hope that whatever
they agree would be accepted by all other parties.

“We cannot paper over the cracks in the Agreement and try to make do
with an unsatisfactory deal again. To do so would have disastrous
long-term consequences.”

Allan Leonard concluded: “I call Mr Blair to allow us to make a deal
which will work and will deliver stable devolved government in the long


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