The dove of peace alighted on Belfast
- When at last peace is within sight after thirty years of civil war
it is an event that is worth saluting. It is good news that leaves us full
- The violence, the terrorist attacks that caused over 3 000 deaths,
had impregnated us with impotence and resignation. But now an improvement
appears, announcing an unexpected spring.
- This is only a beginning. This accord is like a window that one has,
after so many vain efforts, managed to open. But from now on we must prevent
it from closing again.
- An accord is not yet peace. It's enemies are always there. But it is
already clear to us that armed repression was at an impasse. We know that
the violence of arms had no chance of being successful. The realism and
determination of politicians was necessary in order to get those involved
sitting round the same table. It became possible for yesterday's enemies
to talk to each other, to negotiate and to look towards the future together,
showing everybody that there were no winners and no losers.
- There is still an immense task ahead and many obstacles have to be
surmounted. It is easier to continue the war than it is to build peace.
But the desire and the will to live can no longer be broken by hate. A
page has been turned.
- Why did it take thirty years to realise that armed violence would lead
to an impasse and that only negotiation could open the way to the future
- Why so much suffering and spilled blood ? Why all these afflictions
and these deaths ? Why was so much time wasted and so many lives destroyed
- Will the experience of Northern Ireland serve as a lesson for those
countries which have for many years been torn apart by fratricidal struggles
- I am thinking of Turkey with the Kurds, of Spain with the Basques,
of Mexico with the Indians of Chiapas....The litany could go on and on.
The dove of peace that alighted in Belfast may now go elsewhere, taking
hope with it. Where will it alight next so that we may be filled with joy