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Decision time approaching for DUP

11 October, 2004


Speaking this morning in Belfast Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness MP said that "the political negotiations were fast coming to decision time, particularly for the DUP".

Mr McGuinness said:

" Since Leeds Castle our negotiating team has remained in constant, often daily contact, with the two governments.

" This contact will continue this week, however we are fast coming to decision time, particularly for the DUP.

" Are the DUP prepared to accept a comprehensive deal which is based on the core principles of the Good Friday Agreement or are they going to continue to attempt through the two governments to erode the power sharing fundamentals of the Agreement as they attempt to reintroduce unionist rule.

" The fundamentals of the Good Friday Agreement include the broad principles of power sharing, equality, all-Ireland institutions and the checks and balances, the protections, which are central to this. They 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 These fundamentals are not up for negotiation

" I have often said that I believe that the DUP and Sinn Féin will do a deal. So why not do this deal now. The DUP claim to be the confident and assertive leaders of unionism. So let us see some of that confidence. It is time for the DUP to decide if they accept power sharing, equality, the All-Ireland architecture and the fundamentals of the Good Friday Agreement or not." ENDS

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