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McLaughlin - DUP opposition to equality exposed

19 September, 2004

Sinn Féin Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin speaking from Derry this morning said that the party's Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness would be briefing the Sinn Féin leadership tomorrow on the talks at Leeds Castle. Mr. McLaughlin said that the DUPs failure to negotiate with Sinn Féin and their attempts to re-write the Good Friday Agreement were unacceptable.

Mr McLaughlin said:

"Over the last few days we saw elements within unionism once again show in the clearest possible terms that they are opposed to a process of change and to genuine equality. Sinn Féin went into the talks to secure a comprehensive agreement but what we were faced was a party who refused to negotiate and whose sole interest was in re-writing the Good Friday Agreement. This is not acceptable.

"The British and Irish governments made it clear yesterday that the only way forward is on the basis of the Agreement. They now need to ensure that the process of change continues and that the rights and entitlements of all are delivered.

"Tomorrow Martin McGuinness will brief the party leadership on the talks at Leeds Castle and we will be in contact with the two governments."ENDS

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