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DEADLOCK IN ULSTER TALKS; Rows hit run-up to conference.

Vital preparations for Monday's Ulster peace talks broke down last night when London and Dublin failed to agree on key issues.

It was hoped Ulster Secretary Sir Patrick Mayhew and his Irish counterpart Dick Spring would be able to announce details of the arrangements for next week's talks in Belfast.

But they were still at loggerheads after four and a half hours of negotiations.

They abandoned their meeting to refer vital issues - including the problem of terrorists' arms - to John Major and Irish Premier John Bruton.

But they did agree to let Sinn Fein join the peace talks for three months before the IRA have to hand over any weapons.

Meanwhile, Home Secretary Michael Howard was branded the "terrorist's friend" after blocking an EU crackdown on bombers.

Mr Howard had to veto plans for a Europe-wide computer register of anti- terrorist experts as part of Mr Major's policy of non- co-operation over the beef ban row.

Last night Lib Dem home affairs spokesman Alan Beith said: "He is making himself the terrorists' friend and aiding international crime. It will certainly not persuade anyone to eat beef."

And senior Labour MP Giles Radice said: "It's folly to block a measure that would protect us against terrorism."
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Author:Dodd, Sheree
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 5, 1996
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