[Sinn Fein]

22nd March 1999

Good Friday Agreement cannot be renegotiated

Statement from Sinn Fein Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin, commenting on today's round table discussion with the pro-agreement parties.

Mr. McLaughlin said:

``Five out of the six parties at today's meeting agree that the next step is the setting up of the institutions.

``Today's discussions are about implementing the Good Friday agreement. We welcome the recognition in today's meeting that the Good Friday agreement cannot be renegotiated. The discussions are about the establishment of the Executive, the all-Ireland Ministerial Council and the transfer of power to these bodies.

``The UUP demands on decommissioning are outside the agreement. Sinn Fein cannot meet these demands. There are many unresolved issues including decommissioning. There are agreed mechanisms for addressing these issues. In the case of decommissioning this remit falls to the IICD. In addition, the terms of the agreement categorically binds all members of the Executive to the use of exclusively peaceful and democratic methods. This provides adequate and cast iron assurances for everyone.''

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