[Sinn Fein]

5 April 1997

Credible Peace Talks Essential

Sinn Fein Vice President Pat Doherty this morning commented on the article by US Senator Edward Kennedy in the Irish Times.

Mr. Doherty said:

``There is much in this article with which Sinn Fein agrees. I welcome the Senators continued commitment to the search for peace in Ireland and his obvious desire to play an active part in rebuilding a credible peace process.

``Senator Kennedy usefully identifies the core issues which need to be resolved if a real and meaningful process of negotiations is to be put in place. Decommissioning does need to be removed as a precondition and obstacle to progress; a timeframe is clearly a sensible proposition; confidence does need to be built by all sides and of course the timing of Sinn Fein's entry to the negotiations - which we believe should be immediate - needs to be spelt out clearly and unequivocally.

``Sinn Fein has already stated our view that a new IRA cessation would be genuine and unequivocal. It is reasonable to expect the same clarity from the British government.

``Even at this late stage the responsibility for creating credible talks lies with the two governments, but particularly with Mr. Major.''

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