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Agreement only possible if DUP engage

20 September, 2004


Sinn Féin national chairperson, Foyle MLA Mitchel McLaughlin, speaking after Martin McGuinness briefed the party leadership on the Leeds Castle talks today, has said that it is clear that agreement is only possible if the DUP begin to engage positively and accept that there will be no return to unionist domination, no dilution of powers sharing and no erosion of the all-Ireland architecture.

Speaking after the meeting Mr McLaughlin said:

"In the discussions at Leeds Castle, we made significant progress across a range of issues involving the two governments. But the DUP did not engage in this negotiation. They refused to negotiate. They would not talk to Sinn Fein. They adhered, throughout, to an anti-Agreement agenda and demanded a unionist veto over all decisions in the restored institutions. That simply will not happen.

"As we resume discussions at Stormont it is clear that agreement is only possible if the DUP begin to engage positively and accept that there will be no return to unionist domination; that there will be no dilution of powers sharing; that there will be no erosion of the all-Ireland architecture.

"However, if they remain unwilling to engage - unwilling to accept equality and power sharing - then the two governments and the pro-Agreement parties must move on. The DUP cannot be allowed to block progress or to undermine the positive work that was done last week. The process of change must continue." ENDS

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