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Agreement fundamentals not up for negotiation

7 October, 2004

Speaking from London where he is engaged in meeting with senior British officials, Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness MP once again made it clear that the fundamentals of the Good Friday Agreement are not on the table for negotiation.

Mr McGuinness said:

" It is my belief that the DUP are well aware that the very minimum required from them in order to make progress is for them to share power with nationalists and republicans on the basis set out in the Good Friday Agreement. It is only within the context that we can move forward.

" The fundamentals of the Good Friday Agreement cannot be changed. They were agreed by the parties to the Agreement, including the two governments, and endorsed in referendums north and south.

" The fundamentals of the Good Friday Agreement include the broad principles of power sharing, equality, all-Ireland institutions and crucially the checks and balances, the protections, which are central to this. These were designed to prevent the sort of abuses we had previously under unionist governments and which continue to exist in local councils under unionist control Any erosion of these fundamentals is unacceptable." ENDS

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