Republican News · Thursday 20 April 2000

[An Phoblacht]

British hold the key


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has warned of the consequences of failing to reach agreement on breaking the impasse in the Peace Process over the coming weeks.

Adams said that the British government have a ``crucial and pivotal role in turning the key to opening up this Agreement''.

``If they don't do it we're into the marching season, we're into Garvaghy Road, were into all that flows from that. We're into a summer where things are unanchored'', Adams said.

A Sinn Féin delegation led by Gerry Adams met British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Tuesday. Sinn Féin has been in regular contact with all of the pro-Agreement parties and the Irish and British governments in recent weeks.

Prior to the meeting at Hillsborough Castle with Tony Blair, Adams said Sinn Féin wanted to find out from the British Prime Minister how his government proposes to sort out the crisis caused by the collapse of the political institions under the Agreement.

Adams said Sinn Féin intended telling the British government that the decision which Peter Mandelson took in February was in breach of the Agreement and against the wishes of the Irish people expressed in referenda north and south and that this decision should now be reversed.

Sinn Féin is seeking certainty from the British government that if the political institutions are re-established they won't be collapsed again when the unionist veto is used. The party is also seeking clarity from the unionists that they intend to fulfil their obligations under the Good Friday Agreement. Any discussions which Sinn Féin have had in recent weeks with the two governments are about working out how to implement the Agreement without further unionist preconditions.

Following the Hillsborough meeting, Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle member and Sligo County Councillor Seán MacManus said that the British government had caved in to the resistance to change of the Ulster Unionist Party.

``The onus is on the British government to end the crisis which it has created,'' he said.

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