[Sinn Fein]

20 June 2001

Trimble deepening crisis

Sinn Fein Chief Negotiator and Minister for Education Martin McGuinness has accused David Trimble of deepening the sense of crisis in the Peace Process by renewing his ban on Sinn Fein ministers attending North/South Ministerial Council meetings.  Responding to the First Ministers refusal to allow a meeting of the Educational Sectoral meeting this week, Martin McGuinness said:

``David Trimble's refusal to nominate Sinn Fein Ministers is undemocratic and unlawful.  It prevents us fulfilling our responsibilities as Ministers, it obstructs progress on important health and education issues and it, consequently, affects all the people of this island.

``There is a political, democratic and legal imperative on David Trimble to lift his ban.  The politics of threat, sanction and ultimatum are counter-productive.  Instead of attacking the institutions established under the Good Friday Agreement, Mr. Trimble should be defending and protecting these institutions against those who are determined to wreck the Good Friday Agreement.''

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