British approach ‘undermining the peace process’ - Adams
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD is in Washington on a three day visit to meet political leaders and attend the annual St. Patrick’s Day Speakers lunch and the White House event.
Today the Sinn Féin leader will meet the State Department and the Friends of Ireland group in the Congress, as well as other political leaders.
The Sinn Féin leader warned that the “British government has not supported the Haass proposals and is not keeping agreements – including international agreements – made since 1998. Furthermore 16 years later, it is not implementing important elements of the Good Friday Agreement, like the Bill of Rights and Acht na Gaeilge.
When taken with its decision to unilaterally end its Weston Park commitments to resolve the OTR (On the Runs) issue, at the behest of political unionism, British government strategy at this time is undermining the peace process.”
The Sinn Féin leader said:
"The Haass proposals on dealing with legacy issues were a compromise that offered the best hope for bringing closure to victims and families, and of removing this divisive issue from the political agenda.
"The British have failed to back the proposals. Instead, as evidenced in the British Secretary of State’s recent speech, they have adopted a negative, partisan and biased position that ignores the violence of the British state and of the unionist parties and paramilitary organisations.
"The British position backs a one-sided unionist narrative of the conflict and is a clear break with the conflict resolution approach that underpins the Good Friday Agreement.
"One further consequence of the British approach is that the unionist parties have been emboldened in their efforts to unpick the Good Friday Agreement. The recent policy paper by the Ulster Unionist Party is a direct attack on the Haass proposals and sees that party retreat to its traditional intransigent and negative position.
"There is now clearly a concerted effort by unionist parties to reverse the progress made since 1998 and to break binding agreements that were made as part of the peace process. London’s negative interventions are having the same effect"This is extremely serious. It is also unacceptable.
"Conflict resolution is a process of change and compromise, based upon good faith and commitment to implement agreements. It is a very basic principle of peace making that when agreements are made, when commitments are given, they have to be honoured."