[Sinn Fein]

23 June 2001

David Trimble called on to withdraw resignation

Sinn Fein Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin speaking during a meeting of the party's Ard Chomhairle in Dublin this afternoon said:

``The question of who leads the UUP is a matter for that party.  Mr. Trimble's threat to resign on July 1st is the culmination of a plan he set out before the UUC last October.

``His focus since then has been to achieve suspension of the Good Friday Agreement and attempt to blame republicans.  It is this strategy which has brought us to this current point of crisis.

``Mr. Trimble has failed to honour his obligations under the Good Friday Agreement,  particularly it must be said in relation to decommissioning.  What exactly has Mr. Trimble done to bring about a resolution to the arms issue, as required by the Good Friday Agreement?  

``He has refused to work the institutions and has created a fracture in the political institutions.  Mr. Trimble should withdraw his resignation.  If he is genuinely committed to making political progress he should be about creating progress and not crisis.''

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