[Sinn Fein]

1st April 1999

Defending the agreement

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP, accompanied by Martin McGuinness MP and a senior party delegation, spoke to the media outside Hillsborough Castle, County Down, as the current talks designed to end the impasse in the peace process were adjourned.

Mr. Adams said:

``We are disappointed and frustrated that the deadline for the establishment of the Executive has against been missed and the democratic mandates and entitlements of the parties ignored. However, the prize of a lasting peace demands that we continue to try. Sinn Fein will not be deflected.

``In the course of the discussions a range of ideas, propositions were put by the participants, including ourselves. The most recent proposition is a paper from the two governments. Sinn Fein has already made clear, both privately and publicly, that any resolution of these difficulties has to be within the context of the Agreement. Sinn Fein has made clear both publicly and privately that we cannot deliver the unionist demand for IRA weapons.

``Sinn Fein will return to the renewed discussions determined to see this Agreement implemented in full.

``There is a responsibility on all of the parties, including the two governments, who negotiated the Good Friday Agreement to defend it and to implement it in full.''

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