Govts 'in secret talks with dissident republicans'12/08/2010 - 13:20:37
The Irish and British Governments are involved in secret talks with dissident republicans, Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said today.
Despite the recent denial from Secretary of State Owen Paterson that talks with the armed groups opposed to the peace process were an option, Mr McGuinness said discussions had taken place within recent weeks.
The senior Sinn Féin figure, who said he was personally involved in back-channel talks with London as far back as Margaret Thatcher’s term in office, told BBC Radio Ulster: “I encourage dialogue, I think it it important.
“I do understand the governments will come out and say that this isn’t true, it isn’t happening, and they have all sorts of mechanisms and phrases to use which cover themselves, but the reality is that some of these dissident groups, I know for a fact, have been involved in discussions with both the Irish and the British government in recent times.”
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