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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Northern Ireland Government Suspended

Aired August 10, 2001 - 11:55   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: We have some breaking news coming out of Northern Ireland. Our Matthew Chance is standing by on the phone right now from Belfast. Matthew, what's going on?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'm standing outside (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Castle, which is the official residence of the British secretary of state here in Northern Ireland. Within the last few moments, I can tell you that secretary of state, John Reid, has made public his decision about the future of the Northern Ireland power-sharing (UNINTELLIGIBLE). That's the cornerstone really of the Northern Ireland peace process.

That, of course, has been deadlocked since the first minister here, David Trimble, resigned from office in July. What Mr. Reid announced is that the devolved assembly is to be suspended from midnight local time, suspended indefinitely, he said, although he did say that he hoped that that suspension would be very short and that by the end of the weekend they would be able to lift the suspension and restart that process through some constitutional ploy that the suspension has invoked, given the legal parties here another six weeks to (UNINTELLIGIBLE) table and really come together and negotiate about these issues that are standing in the way of the full implementation of the Good Friday agreement.

Most controversial, of course, the decommissioning of weapons by paramilitary groups like the Republican IRA. That's an outstanding issue. They've committed to do that, but they haven't said when or how they'll do it.

Back to you.

HARRIS: All right. Thank you, Matthew Chance, reporting live on the phone for us from Ireland, Northern Ireland I should say. We'll keep our on eye that one.

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