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British Government meeting with UDA

27 October, 2004


Commenting on reports that the British Secretary of State Paul Murphy is to meet with the UDA early next week, Sinn Féin National Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin said that he 'must make it clear to the loyalists that ongoing attacks on Catholics and ethnic minorities have to end'.

Mr McLaughlin said:

"Dialogue between political opponents has characterised the development of the peace process over the past ten years. These engagements are crucial if we are to make further political progress. Sinn Féin has always been willing to engage with representatives of unionism unfortunately many of the political representatives of unionism continue to shy away from such dialogue.

"Next weeks meeting between Paul Murphy and the UDA leaders is not the first such meeting between a British Secretary of State and the UDA in recent years. Both Mo Mowlam and John Reid engaged in such discussions.

" It is important that during this meeting Mr Murphy makes it clear to the loyalist representatives that ongoing attacks on Catholics and ethnic minorities have to end as well as continuing drug dealing and agitation along the interfaces." ENDS

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