[Sinn Fein]

30 November 2000

Adams and Crowe meet FG leader John Bruton and Brian Hayes TD to discuss peace process

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP has said that political leaders in the 26 Counties ``need to actively promote and defend the Good Friday Agreement''.

The Sinn Fein president was speaking after he and Dublin Sinn Fein negotiator, Councillor Seán Crowe, met Fine Gael leader John Bruton and Brian Hayes TD at Assembly Buildings in Belfast today to discuss policing and the peace process.  After the 45-minute meeting, Mr Adams said:

``The Good Friday Agreement is not a Northern matter.  Citizens in the South voted for it in overwhelming numbers.  They changed the Constitution.  This constitutional pain was in exchange for institutional gain.

``The all-Ireland Ministerial Council is a crucial piece of this.  David Trimble has now fractured that leg of the institutions.  By refusing to intervene, the British Government is in breach of an international agreement with the Irish Government.  This has implications above and beyond the needs of the Ulster Unionist Party.''

Cllr Seán Crowe added:

``This is an international agreement, an all-Ireland agreement, and political leaders in the South have a responsibility to all those who voted for it to be proactive in promoting it.  It's not just David Trimble's agreement to mess around with as he wishes for internal party politicking.''

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