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Concerns at approach of two governments to defending GFA

12 October, 2004

Speaking today as British Secretary of State Paul Murphy meets with the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern, Sinn Féin Vice President Pat Doherty said that there 'were still serious concerns about the approach being adopted by the two governments at this time'.

Mr Doherty said:

" Since Leeds Castle Sinn Féin have been both publicly and privately making it clear to the two governments that we are concerned about the approach they have adopted, particularly to defending the core fundamentals and principles which underpin the Good Friday Agreement.

" Nationalists and republicans have made it very clear that we are not prepared to countenance a return to the days of unionist misrule. The checks, balances and protections which are a core element of the Agreement were designed to prevent unionist abuses of power. They cannot be diluted.

" The vast majority of political opinion on the island is pro-Agreement. It is entirely unrealistic, in an effort to appease DUP rejectionists, for the governments to expect others to acquiesce to an anti-Agreement position. If progress is to be made in the time ahead the two governments need to make it clear to the DUP that the onus is on them to accept the core elements of the Good Friday Agreement." ENDS

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