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Peace process needs a collective effort to rebuild it

7 March, 2005


Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness MP, speaking at a meeting of election workers in Belfast today, has said that the work of rebuild the damaged peace process has to begin at some stage and it should begin sooner rather than later.

Responding to comments today by the British Prime Minster, Tony Blair, Mr McGuinness said:

"The peace process is the only way forward but the process is in deep crisis. It needs to be rebuilt and it needs a collective effort to rebuild it.

"The British and Irish governments want to reduce all of the issues to one - that is the issue of the IRA - even though it knows that the IRA is not the only issue.

"And they present this in the most dishonest, provocative and counter-productive terms by defining the problem as criminality. Let me be clear. There is no room for criminality within republicanism. But the historic and contemporary reality is that the IRA is a response to deep injustice and to the failure of politics in the north.

"And by addressing and resolving these issues we can create the conditions where the IRA ceases to exist.

"Republicans are up for this challenge but we cannot do it alone." ENDS

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