Republican News · Thursday 21 December 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Sinn Féin is talking but Blair must move

Gerry Adams confirmed this week that ``Sinn Féin is engaged in intense discussions with the British and Irish governments'' on the crisis in the peace process but the Sinn Féin leader placed the onus for progress firmly at the door of the British Prime Minister.

The party's aim, said Adams, is to get the British government to face up to its responsibilities. Blair's government is perpetuating the current crisis by continuing to renege on commitments made at Hillsborough last May, said Adams. He pointed to apparent military establishment efforts to block a start to demilitarisation and to British chicanery on the policing issue as examples of bad faith. These have been compounded by David Trimble's exclusion of Sinn Féin ministers from meetings under the auspices of the North/South Ministerial Council.

Adams further advocated that the 26-County government bring the British government before the International Court of Justice for its breach of the Good Friday Agreement.

Also this week, Martin McGuinness was scathing of Peter Mandelson's role in the peace process to date. He said that the Secretary of State was part of the military mindset that claims Britain's network of barracks and spyposts are crucial to security.

``People are expecting Tony Blair, who has acted positively in the past in this process, to move decisively to face down the militarists within the British establishment who have plagued this process from the very beginning,'' said McGuinness.

(See reports and editorial analysis pages 2,7&8)

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