[Sinn Fein]

18 October 2001

Trimble withdraws Ministers from Executive

Reacting to news that David Trimble has withdrawn his Ministers from the Executive Sinn Fein Chief Whip Alex Maskey said:

``There should be no ambiguity about where responsibility for today's UUP decision lies. There should be no ambiguity about where the responsibility for this crisis lies. It lies with David Trimble.

``One year ago this month he spelt out at the Waterfront Hall his tactical approach to the Agreement - create a crisis, get a suspension of the institutions and blame it on republicans. David Trimble cannot blame others. This crisis is a direct consequence of decision he has taken - no one else - including his own resignation as First Minster and now the resignation of his Ministers.

``Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness are currently engaged, and have been for some time, in intense discussions with the governments and others, including the UUP, to resolve this crisis. While today's decision is unhelpful it will not deflect or distract the efforts of our party leadership to find a resolution.

``We are not walking away from the Agreement or from the process. Our commitment is to make this process work. Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness are entirely focused and will remain focused on making progress.

``The responsibility of politicians is to make politics work. That is what the UUP should be doing.''

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