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Sinn Féin seek meeting with the British Government

24 August, 2004

Sinn Féin Assembly Group leader Conor Murphy has announced that his party is seeking a meeting with the British Secretary of State Paul Murphy to discuss the upcoming September talks.

Mr Murphy said:

" Sinn Fein's objective going into the negotiations in September is to end the crisis in the process and restore the political institutions. This should be the focus of the other parties also. However, republicans are not convinced of the commitment to progress by the two governments, especially the British government, and the DUP.

" In our discussions over the summer with the two governments we have focused on the key issues which we believe all of the participants have a contribution to resolve. This includes the transfer of powers on Policing and Justice. The DUP have now accepted the logic of the need to transfer policing and justice powers. But it is not down to the DUP to dictate to Sinn Féin or any other parties who to nominate to any future Executive.

" We will be seeking a meeting with Mr. Murphy in the coming days to discuss these issues and concerns about the approach of the British government to the upcoming discussions

" Sinn Fein's goal is to achieve a comprehensive definitive agreement on all the outstanding issues. But to achieve that the two governments and the DUP have to play their part. The British government has the pivotal role in creating the context for this." ENDS

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