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McGuinness - Sinn Féin up for political institutions

13 September, 2006


Speaking on his return from the TUC Conference in Brighton Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness said that his party will be meeting with both the Taoiseach and the British Prime Minister in advance of the discussions planned for Scotland next month. Mr McGuinness also said that The British Prime Minister Tony Blair needed to make it clear to Ian Paisley during their meeting this week that the governments would stand by the Good Friday Agreement in the coming discussions and that time was now short for the DUP to commit to the power sharing institutions.

Mr McGuinness said:

"Sinn Féin are up for a real effort to get the Good Friday Agreement political institutions put back in place before the two governments November 24th deadline. Clearly there are a number of scheduled meetings due to take place over the coming weeks including what we are told will be an intensive session of political talks in Scotland.

"The British Prime Minster is due to meet with Ian Paisley in the coming days. Sinn Féin will be meeting with both the Taoiseach and the British Prime Minister in advance of the discussions in Scotland. If we are to maximise the opportunity which I believe does exist then it is vital that the British Prime Minister makes it clear to Ian Paisley that the two governments are committed to standing by the Good Friday Agreement during the next 10 week period.

"The two governments have made it clear that November 24th is a real deadline. If that proves to be the case then time is now short for the DUP to commit to the power sharing institutions. The luxury afforded to the DUP for so long in allowing the process to drift must now come to an end.

"Progress can undoubtedly be made between now and November if the two governments demonstrate clearly that the basis for moving forward is the basis laid out clearly in the Good Friday Agreement. That must be the template for the coming period." ENDS

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