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DUP cannot be allowed to paralyse the process of change

16 December, 2004


Sinn Féin North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly has said that the DUP refusal to accept the willingness of the IRA to deal with concerns within unionism, including the issues of arms and activities, in the context of a comprehensive deal cannot be allowed to paralyse the process of change set out in the Good Friday Agreement.

Mr Kelly said:

"Last week the IRA set out clearly its willingness to deal with concerns within unionism, including the issues of arms and activities, in the context of a comprehensive deal.

"We now have Ian Paisley saying that he does not want the IRA to deal with the issues of arms and activities conclusively - unless they do so exclusively on his terms and in a way which involves an unachievable process of humiliation. After years of claiming that the issue of arms was at the top of the agenda for unionism, Ian Paisley is now demanding, bizarrely, that the IRA do not deal with the issue of their weapons.

"The DUP cannot be allowed to veto an agreement which deals with all outstanding issues including those of concern to unionists. The DUP cannot be allowed to paralyse the process of change set out in the Good Friday Agreement. If that means moving on then there is a responsibility on the two governments to do so. Sinn Féin want the DUP to be part of the peace process; we want the door to be kept open for them, but we cannot wait while they come to terms with the political realties of the 21st century. The process of change must continue." ENDS

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