[Sinn Fein]

20 September 2002

SF Leadership meet to discuss peace process and Nice

The Sinn Fein leadership are holding a day long meeting in Dundalk today, Friday 20 September, to discuss the peace process, summer events, this weeks meetings with Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern and the Nice Treaty referendum.

Speaking from Dundalk, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP said:

``Our primary concern at this time is the lack of strategic focus by the British government on the peace process and its failure to implement key commitments it made in the Good Friday Agreement and at subsequent discussions, including Weston Park.

``There is concern at the erosion of confidence, among Nationalists and Republicans, in the British government's handling of this process and it was the main focus of my discussions this week with Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern.

``Reducing this process to one in which concessions are made to the UUP each time they create a crisis, while failing on key issues such as Policing, Demilitarisation, Equality and Human Rights, is a recipe for disaster.

``Sinn Fein's commitment is to making this process work and it is our intention to continue to press the two governments, but particularly the british government, to re-invigerate this process.''

Commenting on the Nice Treaty Referendum Mr Adams said:

``The Government are guilty of taking an `a la carte' attitude to the democratic process in relation to the Nice Treaty. This referendum is a replay of the referendum in June 2001. Nothing has changed since that time. Sinn Fein will be offically launching our NO campaign next week. The key issues we will be campaigning on are Democracy, Neutrality and the attempt to create a two-tier EU Superstate. There is a lot of anger at the way the government has dealt with this issue. I believe that the outcome on October 19 will be the defeat of the Nice Treaty for a second time.'' ENDS

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