[Sinn Fein]

24th January 2003

Adams - republicans must be prepared to continue their essential contribution to peace process

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP will tell the Sinn Fein Ard Chomhairle meeting in Dublin tomorrow, Saturday 25th, that republicans must be prepared to continue their essential contribution to the Peace Process. Mr Adams will say that Sinn Fein's approach to the upcoming negotiations will be on a principled and realistic basis. Mr. Adams will stress that:-

Mr Adams adds:

``The democratic imperative must be given precedence both as a matter of principle and as a counter to a contrived strategy of instability. The requires that:-

``These are all requirements of the Good Friday Agreement to which the British government and the Ulster Unionist Party are signatories. There is nothing new about them save the British Prime Minister's acceptance that his government has not been fulfilling its obligations across the board on these issues.

``When I say that the IRA is not the cause of the crisis, this is not to suggest that allegations of IRA activities do not cause political difficulties in the unionist constituency. They do of course. And regardless of whether they are real or unfounded Irish republicans know that, because ongoing activities by British intelligence, the British Army, the police force and unionist paramilitaries cause political difficulties in our community. Particularly against a backdrop of unionist contrived perpetual political crisis which is at the centre of attempts to wreck or renegotiate the Agreement.

``But these are problems to be addressed and resolved, not reasons for wrecking the Agreement.

``The British Prime Minister has put his finger on the route to doing this. His frank admission that his government has not been implementing the Agreement is a tacit acceptance of the analysis Sinn Fein has been making all along. The Agreement, the political contract and primary device for creating the conditions in which all armed groups can be removed from the political arena, has not and is not being implemented.

``Instead the failed politics of dealing with the symptoms of conflict rather than its causes looms large over the situation. It is a well worn route into cul-de-sac politics and usually involves making pre-conditions out of objectives of the peace process.''

Concluding Mr Adams will tell the Sinn Fein Executive:

``Recognising all of the difficulties, and conscious of real concerns,as opposed to excuses for contrived scenarios and situations, Sinn Fein will explore any possibilities Mr Blair's current negotiation open up.

``While we welcome the British Prime Minister's acknowledgement that the British government is not and has not been implementing the Agreement. We are also mindful of their claims to the contrary over the past four and a half years and the politically debilitating effect of this. Nonetheless, we will explore with Mr Blair and the Irish government, their commitment to rectify this.

``The effect of this bad faith by the British government should not be underestimated. Their credibility in the republican constituency is low.''

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