[Sinn Fein]

23rd April 2003

Sinn Fein responds to Tony Blair

Sinn Fein MLA for North Belfast Gerry Kelly, responding to comments from British Prime Minister Tony Blair in Downing Street this morning, said:

``It has been made clear by Gerry Adams that the IRA statement is clear and unambiguous. As you would expect it does not use British or unionist words but it does set out in clear and unambiguous terms the IRA's position. Both the British and Irish governments have recognised the positive nature of the statement and crucially the clear desire of the IRA to see the peace process work. Of course we have to have clarity and certainty in this process - and in my view the IRA statement is the clearest and most certain element in this current negotiation.

``We do not have any clarity or certainty from the UUP about their intentions:

``In fact the unionist party leadership will not even take the decision themselves, they insist on holding a council meeting, which in effect puts a veto over the entire process.

``We do not have certainly and clarity from the two governments. The Joint Declaration is not clear or unambiguous. It is conditional, qualified and at best is a process towards implementation. And we have the introduction of sanctions outside the terms of the Agreement aimed specifically at Sinn Fein.

``We have no certainty or clarity from the loyalist paramilitaries who only last week were involved in orchestrating attacks on catholic homes in Belfast. And no attention or focus on those groups at all.

``So of course we need certainty - but certainty all round - not just from the IRA. ENDS

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