Adams - Process is moving in the right direction
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness and senior Ard Chomhairle member Gerry Kelly returned from London this morning after 48 hours of intense and detailed discussions with the British government. Speaking in Belfast on their return Mr. Adams said that he was satisfied that Sinn Féin has kept the British government to the Good Friday Agreement. He said that there has been progress and the process is moving in the right direction.
Mr. Adams said:
"We are satisfied that in the discussions over the last 48 hours that we have kept the British government to the fundamentals of the Good Friday Agreement. There has been progress and the process is moving in the right direction, even if it is inching forward. The reality is that a lot of this could happen much more quickly if the necessary political will was shown on all sides. That is what we are pushing for.
"A series of meetings of the Programme for Government Committee are due to begin next week and the Assembly is due to be convened on November 24th where parties entitled to do so will put forward their nominees.
"Sinn Féin's focus is on restoring the power-sharing and all-Ireland political institutions so that they can deal with the issues that are impacting adversely on people in their daily lives. I believe we are closer to achieving that this morning than yesterday morning.
"However there remain outstanding issues which must be dealt with by the British government and the DUP."
Commenting on the clause on policing which is in the Ministerial pledge Mr. Adams said:
"From a broadly nationalist and republican perspective there will be a focus on the policing clause in the Ministerial code and the wording put forward by the British in legislation as a concession to the DUP.
"I would ask nationalists and republicans who are obviously concerned at this issue to judge all of this in the round.
"Any pledge for Ministerial position only applies when people become Ministers. That does not arise until March 26th of next year. This provides time for the work which is still ongoing, around the issue of the timetable for the transfer of policing from Westminster and the departmental model, to conclude. And of course any decision Sinn Féin takes on this issue will be a matter for this party." ENDS