[Sinn Fein]

31st May 2002

McGuinness encourages dialogue in talks With Palestinian And Israeli delegations

Sinn Fein Chief Negotiator, Martin McGuinness MP, MLA speaking from Weston Park where he is taking part in cross party discussions with Palestinian and Israeli delegations said:

``It is gratifying to be able to offer some insight into our own experiences of conflict resolution to the Palestinian and Israeli people. While all conflicts have their own unique causal circumstances the principles necessary to resolve differences are fundamentally similar.

Conflict resolution is never easy and there will be set-backs while the process is bedding down and old foes deal with the hurt and suffering that they have inflicted on each other. But it is essential that dialogue based on inclusivity and equality be established and channels of communication are kept open even in the most trying of circumstances.

Just as we in Ireland benefited from the South African experience we hope that by sharing our experience with the Israeli and Palestinian people that we can influence the situation in the Middle East in a positive manner.

I believe that however small our contribution may be that we have a duty to help other regions in conflict in whatever way we can. I, and Sinn Fein are available to play whatever part we can to assist in this most serious of conflicts.''

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