[Sinn Fein]

5th September 2002

Unionist threat to Process

Speaking this morning in Belfast Sinn Fein MP for Mid Ulster Martin McGuinness said that the current threat to the political institutions comes solely form within unionism.

Mr. McGuinness said:

``The belated and reluctant admission by the PSNI yesterday that loyalists have been primarily responsible for orchestrating sectarian violence is a begrudging acceptance of what Sinn Fein has been saying all along. This admission undermines totally the unionist leadership's attempts to blame republicans and create a false crisis in the peace process.

``The only real crisis exists within unionism and loyalism and stems directly from the failure of David Trimble and the UUP leadership to defend and promote the Good Friday Agreement and to face down the rejectionists both inside and outside their own party.

``Republicans are absolutely committed to the Good Friday Agreement and the Peace Process. The next few weeks may see yet another threat by the UUP leadership to walk away from the institutions. If that is the case then it will be solely the decision and indeed the responsibility of the UUP leadership.''ENDS

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