Irish Republican News · September 25, 2003
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Talks continue to restore Assembly

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams and Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble are meeting again today as part of a `network' of exchanges aimed at reviving the Good Friday Agreement.

Mr Adams, who also held talks with Mr Trimble on Tuesday, said the talks with Mr Trimble were arguably ``the most important part'' of the current talks process.

``They are necessary discussions at this time and we will continue with them until we hopefully come to some conclusions. It's work in progress.''

Negotiations are centring on the full and final implementation of the Good Friday Agreement as part of a deal to restore the Belfast Assembly and power-sharing government in the Six Counties.

``There is always a concern when the media gets itself into a frenzy and it is usually about republicans,'' said Adams. ``There is a lot of stuff to be done by the two Governments. It's there in public terms what they have not done.

``We all engaged for some time around how much of the Good Friday Agreement was complete or not complete. There was then a joint declaration which was actually longer than the Good Friday Agreement which showed the catch-up that they had to do.

``There are parts of the joint declaration which are outside the terms of the Agreement. It is a very difficult issue for republicans in terms of this so-called international monitoring commission. There is the issue of the unionists where they have in the past either walked out or threatened to walk out of the institutions, with the result that they have been pulled down.

``So there is a collectivity about all of this and we just need to have a sense of that. The governments need to be reasonable and rational about what is do-able at this time.''

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© 2003 Irish Republican News