[Sinn Fein]

1 August 2001

Sinn Fein initial response to government's package

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP in an initial response to the proposals issued today by the British and Irish governments said that, ``Sinn Fein is coming to this document critically but in a constructive frame of mind.''

Mr. Adams said:

``I am very mindful of the tragic backdrop to this morning's announcement and the anxiety and grief of many people at this difficult time.

``The Sinn Fein leadership has been consistent and clear about how we will view any package from the two governments.

``The governments promised at the end of the Weston Park talks to bring forward a final package for the full and early implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.

``That is the context in which we will form our view of this mornings proposals. We will put them to the text of the Good Friday Agreement. In this Agreement these matters, that is policing, the political institutions, demilitarisation, the arms issue, human rights, the justice system and the equality agenda, are stand alone issues. These are issues to be resolved in their own right

``Moreover the democratic rights and entitlements of nationalists and republicans cannot be conditional. These rights are universal rights and they benefit everyone.

``Our approach will be to engage constructively to see if what is currently proposed has the potential to finally implement the Good Friday Agreement, as promised by the two governments. That process requires the government to provide and make public the details of what they are proposing.

``The Ard Chomhairle of Sinn Fein will meet on Friday morning to examine the governments package. We will continue to engage with both governments and all the parties to ensure that the Good Friday Agreement is implemented in full.''

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