BORIS JOHNSON told an Irish official that the Irish Government should 'let nationalists go to hell', according to the release of confidential papers.
The document from 1996 details a conversation between an Irish Government official and Johnson, then the deputy editor of the Daily Telegraph.
The official had been canvassing the opinions of journalists across the political spectrum in Britain.
The document contains details of a conversation between the Irish official and the future British Prime Minister that took place on February 13, 1996.
It was just days after the IRA had ended its 17-month-long ceasefire by bombing London's Docklands, killing two people.
According to ITV News, the 'surreal' telehphone conversation saw Johnson take a 'hard egg' approach to the IRA, convinced they could be defeated if they persisted with armed conflict.
"Let them use the bomb and the bullet, we shouldn't give in and we will beat them eventually," Johnson is quoted as saying.
While the official agreed there should be no place at the negotiating table for terrorists, he felt Johnson's stance would beget more violence and instead preferred a peaceful resolution.
"Implicit in Johnson's argument was 'let the nationalists go to hell'," added the official.
The IRA renewed its ceasefire in July 1997, after which Sinn Féin joined multi-party talks at Stormont.
Following a 17-day exclusion due to the IRA's involvement in two killings in February 1998, Sinn Féin re-joined the talks in March.
The Good Friday Agreement was signed on April 10, 1998.