8th November 2002
Sinn Fein response to Peace and Reconciliation Forum announcement
Sinn Fein Chairperson, Mitchel McLaughlin has welcomed the announcement that the Irish government will reconvene the Peace and Reconciliation Forum in November but warned that it is not a substitute for all party talks involving both the Irish and British governments and all the political parties.
Mr McLaughlin said:
``The announcement that the Irish government will reconvene the Peace and Reconciliation Forum in November is welcome but it is not and cannot be a substitute for the urgent need for all party round table talks, or for the two governments driving forward the implementation of the Agreement.
``The Forum in 1994 was a useful platform to meet and discuss the key issues on an all-Ireland basis. It may prove useful now. However, the problem in 2002 is that we have an agreement which has not been implemented and which unionism has sought to frustrate at every opportunity.
``Nor should we forget that both the British government and unionists refused to attend the Forum in 1994.
``The focus for us all has to be the implementation of the Agreement and the restoration of the political institutions. Sinn Fein will do our best in the time ahead to achieve these goals.'' ENDS
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