Below is the text of Mr Major’s comments on the Joint Declaration, made in 10 Downing Street with Albert Reynolds on 15th December 1993.
If the provisionals will end, and renounce, violence for good, the British Government is prepared to enter into preliminary exploratory dialogue with Sinn Fein within three months when cessation of violence has been clearly established.
And the Joint Declaration reinforces very strongly the three stranded political talks which have made significant progress within the last two years, a process that involves both of our governments and all of the constitutional parties.
The Joint Declaration is designed to strengthen the position of elected constitutional politicians throughout the community. It is a declaration for democracy, for constitutional behaviour, for dialogue, for consent and freedom under the law.
I can’t promise you today that the Joint Declaration will bring peace, that doesn’t lie within my hands. But those who don’t respond to it will show that they prefer violence for its own sake for they are now offered a democratic alternative.