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Hain must honour outstanding GFA commitments

21 June, 2005

Responding to comments made today in Belfast by the British Secretary of State Peter Hain, Sinn Féin MP for Newry & Armagh Conor Murphy said that the British government had to realise that for progress to be made in the time ahead all parties had to step up to the mark, not just republicans or the IRA.

Mr Murphy said:

"The issue of armed groups is one of a number of outstanding issues yet to be fully resolved but progress has undoubtedly been made in this area in recent years. On the other hand the British government have failed to deliver on the range of basic rights and entitlements demanded by the Good Friday Agreement.

"The British government have allowed progress on demilitarisation, human rights, equality, the Irish language, policing and justice to become stalled by rejectionist unionism failing to engage. This approach cannot be allowed to continue.

"Peter Hain needs to end the pretence that he is some sort of honest broker in this process. He is not. He is the British Secretary of State and has commitments and obligations to honour. His decision to intern Sean Kelly last weekend was a political decision and the worst sort of pandering to the securocrats and rejectionist unionists who control the NIO. It is a decision which has angered republicans and nationalists throughout this island and is a decision which must be reversed forthwith.

"Republicans have demonstrated time and again our commitment to this process. We have taken risks for peace and continue to try and drive this process forward. But that requires political will on all sides including the British government. It is simply not credible for Mr Hain to pretend otherwise." ENDS

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