[Sinn Fein]

8th January 2003

PUP Withdraw from Talks

Commenting on the decision of the PUP to withdraw from the talks Sinn Fein Assembly member Conor Murphy said that the standard of political leadership on offer from the main unionist parties left the PUP with little other option.

Mr Murphy said:

``The political antics of the DUP and the UUP thus far in this process and the negative agenda they have adopted has left the PUP with little option but to withdraw at this time from the talks.

``It would be our intention to maintain contact with the PUP and would wish to see a situation where all of the unionist political representatives participated fully in the process.

``This is not a time for walking away or giving up. It is a critical time and it is a time for engagement and dialogue. That is the only basis upon which we can move forward collectively and see the Agreement implemented in full.''

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