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McGuinness - Governments Pandering to Trimble

18 December, 2002

Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness MP has accused the two governments of 'pandering to David Trimble'. Mr McGuinness made the remarks following the meeting today of the British Irish Inter Governmental Conference after which the two governments announced that they would 'not retain' the All-Ireland structures in the absence of other parts of the Agreement functioning.

Mr McGuinness said:

" In October the British government, stepping outside the terms of the Agreement, suspended the political institutions again at the behest of Mr Trimble. Since then he has failed to turn up to any of the round table negotiations aimed at restoring the Assembly and Executive.

" Despite this it seems that the two governments are intent on pandering to Mr Trimble and placing the continued future of the remaining Good Friday institutions in doubt.

" Todays joint statement comes at an early stage in the negotiations and sends out completely the wrong signal and undermines confidence in our collective ability to reach an agreement which will see the political institutions restored. It will also encourage anti-Agremeent elements to continue with their efforts to wreck the Agreement." ENDS

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