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McLaughlin - Unionist position represents a clear and present danger to the process

28 February, 2003


Sinn Féin Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin speaking at a meeting of the party's Ard Chomhairle in Dublin this afternoon said that "any departure from the Good Friday Agreement in the current negotiations in favour of David Trimble's demands for sanctions against republicans would represent a clear and present danger to the process.

Mr. McLaughlin said:

"We are locked into intensive negotiations with the British and Irish governments to resolve the current crisis in the process. The focus of our discussions is around what Tony Blair has described as acts of completion for the Good Friday Agreement on all of the outstanding matters - policing, demilitarisation, criminal justice, equality and human rights. All of these matters are of equal concern and equal priority and need to be addressed.

"The negative behaviour of the UUP and their refusal to engage in the negotiations remains an ongoing concern.

"I do want to state clearly that any departure from the Good Friday Agreement in favour of David Trimble's demands for sanctions would represent a clear and present danger to the process. It is ridiculous that ten years into this process that the unionist approach still revolves around the exclusion of republicans.

"We need to see an end to the anti-Agreement dead hand over the process and a plan for its full implementation."ENDS

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