Talks in Northern Ireland’s peace process resume on Thursday when leaders of the two main parties meet with British Prime Minster Tony Blair.
It follows last month’s confirmation by international monitors that the IRA’s arsenal had been destroyed, in line with an earlier commitment from the militant group.
However the process is still deadlocked because the majority unionists had demanded the destruction of weapons by photographed.
In an interview with EuroNews, Gerry Adams, the leader of the IRA’s political ally, Sinn Fein, rejected the suggestion that the process has been set back for lack of visual evidence.
He said: “I don’t believe that. We had the possibility through a lot of hard work by Sinn Fein in December last year to make a huge leap forwards so we are where we are. This is a process. It does take time to get issues dealt with. Those unionists who have genuine fears about the IRA have now no reason to have those fears although, as I said, it will take a little bit of space for that to be absorbed.”
Meanwhile, police in Northern Ireland have arrested six people over the murder of a former Protestant guerrilla leader.
Jim Gray, an ex commander with the Ulster Defence Association, was shot dead last night in east Belfast.
Police said they believe Gray, who survived an assassination attempt in 2002, was killed by his former paramilitary associates.