UUP: Peace Forum is 'waste of time'

A senior Ulster Unionist assemblyman says the revived Forum for Peace and Reconciliation in Dublin is a waste of time.

A senior Ulster Unionist assemblyman says the revived Forum for Peace and Reconciliation in Dublin is a waste of time.

The forum, to which all parties north and south of the border have been invited, meets again in Dublin Castle this afternoon.

During the forum's last session, no Ulster Unionist attended in an official capacity and they will not be attending this time around either.

This afternoon the UUP assemblyman for South Down, Dermot Nesbitt, said the forum amounted to no more than a "publicity stunt."

He said the Irish Government, Sinn Fein and the SDLP will be "raking over the same old ground" instead of focusing on the central issue.

This, he said, was that nowhere else in the democratic world would anyone be expected to share power with a group linked to paramilitary activity.

He said republicans are in a deep hole and the Irish Government must realise that by throwing them a 'lifeline', they are aiding and abetting a group still wedded to tactics that are far from democratic.

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