27 January 1998
Adams responds to Governments' paper
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams responding to today's paper by the two governments said:
``This morning I said that I expected a paper from the two governments would be tabled today so we welcome the opportunity to have a detailed discussion which this provides. ``We believe that these discussions need to address an inclusive and comprehensible agenda, covering all of the issues to be resolved, with equality across and between the three strands of the negotiations.
``The broad issues which need to be addressed if the causes of the conflict are to be removed and a lasting settelement found are;
- sovereignty and constitutional issues.
- demilitarisation, including the release of prisoners and the creation of a normal and acceptable policing service,
- the equality agenda ,encompassing rights, safeguards and justice issues, and
- new political arrangements and structures.
``New arrangements - their power, scope and responsabilities, their dynamic and transitional nature, will occupy the minds of many of the participants. Yet we should all remember that this process is not about institutions alone but about creating a new and democratic agreement.
``A democratic peace settlement also needs to involve;
- the release of all political prisoners,
- the replacement of the RUC with a normal policing service
- equality of all our people
``Demilitarisation and the equality agenda can and should be acted on immediately.
``It was in this context that we argued for a comprehensive paper this morning from the two governments, addressing all Ireland arrangements in a detailed manner.
``It is our long held view that the two governments need to lead this process and their agreed positions on these matters is of vital importance in moving forward.
``We note the fact that the two governments have agreed a paper and that they restated their commitment to already agreed positions. The government need to build on and develop this position.
``For our part, we believe that new arrangements should, in the best interests of all the people of Ireland, aim to:
- Advance a process of national unity and reconciliation
- Underpin political democracy
- Recognise fully the diversity as well as the unity of the people of Ireland.
``We want to hear the views of the other participants and to discuss their proposals. We are particularly keen to listen to the views of the Unionist parties and acknowledge their concerns. It is time for positive leadership from the Ulster Unionist Party.
``We particularly want to hear the agreed positions of the two governments on the questions they have posed to the other participants. We would hope shortly to see a comprehensive and detailed document which does this.''
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