[Sinn Fein]

14 August 2001

Sinn Fein responds to IRA statement

In response to this mornings IRA statement, Sinn Fein negotiator Mitchel McLaughlin MLA has said; ``This mornings IRA statement announcing the withdrawal of its proposals to the IICD is a direct consequence of unionist rejection of the breakthrough IICD determination and the British governments failure to create the appropriate political conditions.

Mr. McLaughlin said:

``Last week began with a breakthrough determination by the IICD.  The determination was widely welcomed across Ireland and further afield.

``Despite the historic nature of the IRA s move David Trimble rejected the IICD s determination out of hand.  In doing so he rejected the de Chastelain commission as a route to resolve the question of arms.  This is a serious blow to the Good Friday Agreement and to efforts to resolve the arms issue.

``The British government then saw fit, for the second time in 18 months, to reward unionist rejectionism with the suspension of the institutions.

``The willingness of the British government to unilaterally suspend the institutions is in marked contrast to their refusal to use their powers to ensure Sinn Fein ministers could attend the All Ireland Ministerial Council.

``Despite talk of a tactical suspension  the institutions have not been functioning properly since October of last year.

``The clear intention of the unionists, as spelt out by David Trimble last October is to create a crisis, blame republicans, achieve suspension and renegotiate the Agreement.

``The present crisis is the result of the British governments failure to implement the Good Friday Agreement.  This failure has created the space from which the unionists are attempting to subvert the Agreement.

``The onus is now clearly on the British government to live up to its responsibilities.

``For our part Sinn Fein remains weeded to the Good Friday Agreement and will continue to work with and on both governments to ensure its full implementation.  ENDS

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