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Kearney to tell MEPs peace process cannot be taken for granted

25 January, 2015

Sinn Féin chairperson Declan Kearney will travel to the European Parliament in Brussels this week to update MEPs on the Stormont House Agreement and recent developments in the peace process. 

Mr Kearney, who is standing as the Sinn Féin candidate for South Antrim in the upcoming Westminster election, said; 

"In the course of my two-day visit to the European Parliament I will meet with MEPs from the recently established Peace Process Support Group. This was set up following the European Parliament's resolution supporting our political process. 

"I will be speaking to MEPs from across the European Parliament, including Syriza MEPs from Greece. 

"During the course of the visit I will tell MEPs that the peace process cannot be taken for granted. 

"The political impasse brought about by the British government's anti-welfare state austerity programme almost led to the collapse of the political institutions.

“That was only averted by the serious negotiations, which led to the Stormont House Agreement. 

"The British government's negative mismanagement towards, and Irish government's disengagement from the peace process and political institutions showed what can happen when the peace process is taken for granted. 

"The success and stability of the peace process is paramount.  It and the political process are bigger than the British and Irish governments or any narrow party agenda.  

"This Agreement can act as a catalyst for opening a new phase of the peace process based upon reconciliation.

"However, these possibilities will only be realised through implementation of all elements of the Agreement. The international community can play a key role in this. 

"It is essential the significant influence of the European Parliament, its commitment to offer ongoing support, as well as continued involvement by the US administration, and its envoy Senator Gary Hart, are employed to positively encourage full compliance of the latest Agreement by all sides.” 

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