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Sligo Sinn Fein Councillors deliver letter on Middle East to Mayor of New York

22 August, 2006

Sligo Sinn Féin Group Leader, Councillor Sean Mac Manus, has confirmed that he delivered to New York Mayor Michael Bloomfield a letter outlining Sinn Féin's position on the current situation in the Middle East region during Mayor Bloomfield's visit to Sligo on August 22nd.

"In light of the ongoing war situation in the Middle East, in particular the serious loss of life and widespread destruction in Lebanon, we decided to avail of the visit to Sligo of Mayor Bloomfield to outline to him Sinn Féin's views on this issue and our concerns in relation to the involvement of the United States in the ongoing conflict in the region especially in Iraq", said Councillor Mac Manus.

"Sinn Féin believes that the root cause of the conflict in this region is the ongoing long-term failure to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. We also believe the invasion by the United States and Britain of Iraq has deepened the crisis in the Middle-East. On both of these matters the US must begin to adopt a balanced position, an immediate start can be made by announcing a short time frame for their withdrawal from Iraq.

"In relation to the Palestinian/Israeli situation, we believe that there is need for a major change in US foreign policy. This should involve an even-handed approach to resolving the Palestinian/Israeli conflict on the basis of a two state solution. A breakthrough on this front would go a long way to overcoming the understandable hostility towards the United States in the region.

"Sinn Féin's long experience of dealing with the consequences of Britain's occupation of Ireland has convinced us that dialogue involving all sides is the only way to end wars. Such dialogue should commence at once in the Middle East, and the US must assume responsibility for starting this process. To delay will only result in more lives being lost in Iraq, Israel, Palestine and Lebanon", concluded Councillor Mac Manus. ENDS

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