7 August 2001
Rejection of IICD report hinders potential for full and early implementation of Agreement
Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, Sinn Fein Chief negotiator, Mid-Ulster MP Martin McGuinness said:
David Trimble's rejection of yesterday's historic report and determination from the IICD that the IRA has initiated a process to put arms completely and verifiably beyond use, hinders the potential for the full and early implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. It is a grievous error of judgement.
Instead of grasping this unique opportunity Mr. Trimble, who in recent months had appeared to accept that this issue should be left to the IICD, has chosen to undermine the role of IICD by rejecting their determination.
Either the IICD has responsibility for this matter, as set out in the Good Friday Agreement, or it does not.
The two governments have to defend the Agreement.
David Trimble has also upped the ante on other issues. Now he is attempting to reduce nationalist support for policing to a precondition before he will support the political institutions. Acceptable, accountable and representative policing is a right and entitlement not a concession to be reduced to a bargaining chip by David Trimble.
There are those within the British government and elsewhere who have argued that David Trimble is for the Agreement but has a problem with the issue of arms. Increasingly, in my view David Trimble's problem is with the entire process and the Agreement and in coming to terms with change.
His strategy has been geared towards minimising and diluting the potential of the Good Friday Agreement. Evidence of this can be found in his rejection of key elements of the Good Friday Agreement. Having signed up to the Agreement, David Trimble has
- Voted against legislation on prisoner releases
- Rejected the Patten Report
- Rejected the determination of the IICD
- Is seeking the removal of the Human Rights Commissioner
- Been found guilty of acting illegally in refusing to allow Sinn Fein Ministers to fulfil their roles
- Opposed demilitarisation
- Rejected the political institutions
The British government has to stop pandering to David Trimble and start defending the Good Friday Agreement.
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