[Sinn Fein]

31st March 1999

Deadlock remains unbroken

Sinn Fein Party Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin , speaking at Hillsborough this evening said: ``It has been another long day, at times a frustrating day. It will be a long evening. It is a difficult negotiation.

``There were some ideas canvassed today - a number were put forward. I have to say that none of these have broken the deadlock. So far no new ideas have emerged this evening.

``Sinn Fein is here in a positive mode - determined to end the impasse and secure the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. This morning the IRA in its Easter message clearly sought to be helpful and make a positive contribution with a statement which promotes the peace process.

``It is important to point out that whatever is prepared or canvassed has to be in the context of the Agreement and respect for the democratic mandate of the parties. That is the safety blanket for the two governments and all of the parties.

``It is important to point out that this is not a dispute between two parties. It is the responsibility of the two governments and all the parties. The delay has been caused by a pre-condition which calls for Sinn Fein to deliver IRA weapons something which we have made clear is impossible in the terms demanded of us.''

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