Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Adams - Key to moving process forward is Government action

29 April, 2004

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams speaking from Cork today said he was pleased that the British Prime Minister and the Taoiseach are meeting on Sunday and that the Foreign Affairs Minister Brian Cowen is engaging with the DUP this evening in Belfast.

Mr Adams said:

"Tonight's engagement and Sunday's meeting, along with the ongoing contact between our party and the two governments is a sign of the more focused approach that is necessary to resolve the problems which have bedevilled the process".

"Sinn Féin is not naïve. We know there are profound difficulties. The government's need to make it clear to unionists that they need to engage in a meaningful way otherwise they will continue to make impossible demands on the rest of us. Tonight's meeting between the DUP and Brian Cowen provides an opportunity for this.

"If the process is standing still, if the governments and others are attacking republicans, then I can understand why unionism feels no reason to move forward.

"Obviously there is an onus on everybody collectively to make this process work. No party or government can avoid their responsibilities, but at this time, there is an onus on the two governments to create the conditions for forward momentum.

"Contrary to fiction pedalled by the SDLP leadership and others, this is not just an issue of paramilitarism and of unionism refusing to share power. These issues have to be tackled, but the key to tackling them is the governments fulfilling their responsibilities under the Agreement."

Mr Adams also spoke about the imminent accession of the 10 European states to the EU. The Sinn Féin President called on the Irish Government to "use its influence at this time to ensure that new states have the same opportunities within the EU as current states".

He said: "This should be a priority for the Irish Government in the upcoming constitution talks.

"The current Draft EU Constitution reflects much of what is wrong with the European Union. Today, the EU represents and facilitates the agendas of big business and the powerful member states, to the detriment of the smaller nations, and particularly neutral states. The Draft Constitution in its current form, will move us even closer towards an EU superstate with its own army.

"However, the current direction of the EU is not inevitable. It can changed. Sinn Féin will work hard to achieve this." ENDS

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