[Sinn Fein]

8th February 1999

Adams Calls for End to Phony War

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP speaking in Cork this morning said that the current difficulties in the peace process are about whether the Good Friday Agreement is going to be implemented or whether the UUP is going to succeed in renegotiating the agreement. Mr. Adams is on a visit to Cork to support the candidates in the forthcoming local government election.

Mr. Adams said:

``The difficulties facing the current phase of the peace process are being presented as a dispute between the UUP and Sinn Fein. This is not the case. Some of the main players are abdicating their responsibilities and pushing this line. Current difficulties affect every party to the Good Friday Agreement, particularly and especially the two governments. The dispute is not an inter-party, republican versus unionist argument. It is about whether the Good Friday Agreement is going to be implemented or whether the UUP is going to succeed, through exercising a veto, in parking or reviewing, in other words renegotiating the agreement.

``As we face into the next phase everyone needs to remember that the Good Friday Agreement is the historic compromise of this time. For it to be further delayed, diluted or reneged on is unthinkable. All other possibilities, or potential for give and take depend on the Good Friday Agreement compromise being honoured.

``I expect, and I say this with regret, that the peace process will be dogged with difficulties. Even at this time these difficulties are clear - the UVF rearming and retraining, the ongoing bombing campaign against catholic families and property, the siege of the Garvaghy Road (over 150 parades since last July), the heavy presence of the British Army in parts of Tyrone and South Armagh, the behaviour of the RUC, the false precondition around the issue of decommissioning and the anxiety which that is creating, the propaganda campaign against Sinn Fein against so-called punishment attacks. All of this has the character almost of a phony war. This must end.

``Too much has been achieved to allow the reactionaries to wreck the process. Sinn Fein is totally committed to the Good Friday Agreement. There is no other way forward. On Monday next I fully expect to see the Assembly ratify the determination from the First and Deputy First Ministers. I expect, as quickly as possible, that the British Government will establish in shadow formation those institutions which should have been in place since early last summer and I expect London and Dublin to transfer power as soon as possible.''

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