April 3, 1991
At first blush, the achievement of Britain's secretary for Northern Ireland, Peter Brooke, is not huge. Over 16 months of preliminary talks, he persuaded all but one of the significant political parties of the province to meet in a single room and talk about forming a provincial regime. No agenda is agreed upon and no predictions of success are ventured. But this will be the first such forum since 1975, and that is something.What has happened is that the Ulster Unionist Party and the Democratic Unionist Party, representing most of the Protestant majority, agreed to talks they previously shunned.