[Sinn Fein]

3rd September 2002

Loyalist Commission statement greeted with caution

Sinn Fein North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly has responded cautiously to the Loyalist Commission statement on interface violence. Mr. Kelly said:

``Sinn Fein said at the beginning of the summer that sectarian violence was the biggest threat to the peace process. This summer has indeed been very difficult for nationalists in the Short Strand, North Belfast and other isolated nationalist communities throughout the Six Counties.

``We have had statements from the Loyalist Commission in the past such as the so-called `no first strike' policy which was almost immediately found to be worthless.

``Unfortunately nationalists will greet this latest statement with great scepticism based on the actions of loyalist paramilitary groups over the summer. Word and deed are equally important. What we must have is calm within which dialogue can take place.

``Nationalist residents and their political representatives have made it clear time and time again that they will talk with anyone to try and bring the violence to a halt. They have been and continue to be active on the ground trying to prevent confrontation. Indeed despite the fact that the overwhelming number of attacks have emanated from loyalists, community representatives and republican political leaders have instigated dialogue to achieve a solution to the violence.''

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