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Parties need to start preparing for intensive negotiations

23 April, 2005

Sinn Féin General Secretary Mitchel McLaughlin today said that all of the parties and the two governments needed to start preparing for intensive political negotiations to take place after the election if progress was to be made before the summer months.

Mr McLaughlin said:

"Experience tells us that the summer months are not the best time to try and engage in constructive political negotiations. Therefore only a narrow window exists in the weeks after the May 5th election to see a meaningful engagement constructed and real progress made in overcoming the impasse in the political process.

"It is my view that the recent initiative by Gerry Adams should provide the necessary political space and incentive for all of the parties and the two governments to come to the table and engage in the sort of intensive process required.

"For this to happen the political parties and more importantly the two governments need to start preparing for such a negotiation process now. Sinn Féin are willing and ready to engage, the April 6th initiative is evidence of that. The other parties now also need to start stepping up to the mark." ENDS

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