HC Deb 31 March 1998 vol 309 c452W
Mr. Maginnis

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if she intends to agree to a political settlement involving those parties with paramilitary links without those parties and the paramilitary organisations with which they are linked being committed to the Mitchell Principles and demonstrable progress being made along the parallel track which deals with disarmament. [35657]

Marjorie Mowlam

[holding answer 23 March 1998]: All parties involved in the talks process have affirmed their total and absolute commitment to the Mitchell Principles. As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister made clear on 15 September 1997 in a joint statement with the Taoiseach both Governments would like to see the decommissioning of some paramilitary arms during the negotiations and believe this could be a major contribution to confidence-building and momentum towards agreement. There is no legal or technical obstacle to decommissioning. It should commence now.