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McGuinness plays down likelihood of breakthrough before elections

3 October, 2003


of the so-called Independent Monitoring Commission in breach of the Good Friday Agreement cannot be over estimated.

"There is enormous resentment among republicans and nationalists at the behaviour of the British government, and the constant, singular and unwarranted focus by it on blaming republicans, as evidenced by Paul Murphy's comments at the British Labour Party conference." ENDS

The Sinn Féin leadership has been in conversation with both governments ahead of tomorrow's meeting between the Taoiseach and British Prime Minster.

Speaking after the Sinn Féin Officer Board met today in Omagh, Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness played down the likelihood of a breakthrough before elections.

Mr McGuinness said:

"Our discussions with the two governments and the UUP have focused on the need to secure firm commitments - guarantees - on the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement and the sustainability of the institutions.

"The rejection by the two governments of substantive initiatives earlier this year from the IRA, and then by the Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, and the decision of the British Prime Minster Tony Blair to twice cancel elections, inflicted enormous damage.

"On top of this the negative effect of the establishment of the so-called Independent Monitoring Commission in breach of the Good Friday Agreement cannot be over estimated.

"There is enormous resentment among republicans and nationalists at the behaviour of the British government, and the constant, singular and unwarranted focus by it on blaming republicans, as evidenced by Paul Murphy's comments at the British Labour Party conference." ENDS

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