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Progress must be based upon Agreement Principles

1 June, 2005

Sinn Féin General Secretary Mitchel McLaughlin today said that the two governments had to make it 'crystal clear' to the DUP and others that there could be no dilution of the Good Friday Agreement.

Mr McLaughlin said:

"Resolving the outstanding issues and seeing real progress achieved in the time ahead will undoubtedly present significant challenges for all of us, for the British and Irish governments, for unionism and for Irish nationalists and republicans. However these challenges need to be overcome if the progress of the last decade is to be consolidated and the Good Friday Agreement implemented in full.

"In their discussions with the DUP the British and Irish governments must make it crystal clear that there will be no dilution of the Agreement. Any future progress or any future deal will be based firmly on its core principles. Indeed last December the DUP were forced to accept for the first time the architecture of the Good Friday Agreement, including power sharing, equality and the all-Ireland institutions.

"The DUP's increased mandate must bring with it a more responsible approach to politics. They need to accept that there will be no return to the failed policies of the past and that the days of unionist domination are gone forever. However if they do not it is vital that the two governments ensure that the DUP cannot be allowed to block progress any further or to destroy a process which has achieved so much over the past decade." ENDS

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