>> 2 Feb 2004


New US special envoy, Mitchell Reiss, arrives today in Northern Ireland. He is very welcome and one hopes he will prove rather less accommodating to Sinn Fein/IRA than his predecessor, the Haas-been. The US has a pivotal role to play in facilitating genuine political progress here, my worry is always that State get the wrong end of the stick (e.g. The Roadmap in the Middle East) then sell it back to the President, and then everyone sits back and watches while it goes up in smoke. Diplomatic wheels move slowly but surely, and let's hope that Reiss can identify the GFA is dead and that we need to all start thinking outside the box to find a new political solution.


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