Britain has also signed separate agreements with France and Spain and (temporarily) with the Netherlands.  In the contract with Spain, the territories of eastern and western Florida were ceded to Spain (excluding a clear northern border, which gave rise to a territorial dispute resolved by the Treaty of Madrid in 1795). Spain also received the island of Menorca; The islands of the Bahamas, Grenada and Montserrat, conquered by the French and The Spaniards, were repatriated to Great Britain. The contract with France was mainly related to the exchange of conquered territories (the only profits from France were the island of Tobago and Senegal in Africa), but also previous contracts guaranteeing fishing rights off Newfoundland. The Dutch possessions in East India, conquered in 1781, were returned to the Netherlands by Great Britain in exchange for commercial privileges in the Dutch East Indies, through a contract concluded only in 1784.  As part of the agreement, the militants also agreed not to allow Al Qaeda or any other extremist group to operate in the areas they control. The 1998 agreement came to a period of considerable optimism after the Cold War about the prospects for a solution to the long-standing political conflict, from the Middle East to Colombia to the Balkans. The passage of time has dampened these hopes, as many conflicts have proved resistant to a solution and even the agreements, which have remained intact, have proved largely disappointing in carrying out genuine reconciliation. The 1998 agreement certainly fell into this category, but the brutal violence did not re-appear. As the international community reflects on future peace efforts in Afghanistan, Yemen, South Sudan and beyond, the peace process in Northern Ireland continues to provide important lessons for scientists and practitioners. As leaders of our respective parties, we have said that our task of reaching agreement on a peaceful and democratic agreement for all on this island is our main challenge.
Practitioners are under intense pressure to provide preconditions for negotiations. They fear that entry into open negotiations will be seen as a sign of weakness and that it will expose them to internal political criticism because they have abandoned important red lines.120 But the imposition of preconditions often becomes a straitjacket, as the other side will probably not give up a valuable influence without having some confidence in the overall outcome. The secret negotiations that preceded the agreement helped reduce the risk that Sinn Fein/IRA would abandon the preconditions, but the British and Irish governments came to understand that the only way to reach an agreement was to take that risk.