[Sinn Fein]

7 April 1998

`Detailed, sustained, concentrated, negotiations' - Adams

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP speaking this morning at Castle Buildings following last night's distribution of Senator Mitchell's paper said:

``This paper has provided the focus for detailed, sustained, concntrated negotiations in the next few days.''

Mr Adams said:

``We welcome the distribution of the paper. Sinn Fein is the party which called for a time-frame for the negotiations and it is that which has created this dynamic.

``I think the Senator has dealt with all the issues. In that way of course it is like stew. We have all the ingredients, but you have to cook it properly.

``We are here as a party which has played a central role in the search for a lasting peace settlement and we have taken a very positive approach to all of this. We want to plan the future, that's what this is all about, bringing about a peeaceful democratic future for the people of this island.

``I think the tension presently in the process arises from the reluctance of some of the participants to embrace the future. I think that is indeed why the paper has been produced 3 or 4 days before the end of this phase of the process.

``I would like to apeal to everyone and especially to those who haven't engaged properly in the process, and who are reluctant about what is coming, to set aside their fears, and to knuckle down and join with all the parties in trying to bring about the type of settlement, the type of agreement which people deserve.

``I can only speak for our party and we are going to deal with all the issues we believe are at the core of the conflict and which need to be resolved.

``I have read the paper in great detail, and have not had the opportunity to discuss it with the rest of the Sinn Fein negotiating team. We are going in now to do this. When we do that we will then be dealing with the two Governments, the Chair and other parties. If there weren't difficulties, if there wasn't mistrust and division, if there wasn't equality or British involvement in our affairs, there wouldn't be any need for a peace process, because there wouldn't be a conflict. We all know there is a conflict. We all know the task that we have and the mandate which all of the parties have to try to resolve the causes of conflict.

``This can only be done by looking forward, by trying to embrace the changes which are required to build a peaceful future. That is what Sinn Fein is about. That is what we want to bring, that sense of moving forward. We want to bring that to every other participant in this building behind me.''

``Responding to a question about UUP Deputy leader John Taylor and his assessment that the possibility of a successful outcome to the talks has now dropped from 5% to 4%, Mr Adams said: ``I don't know the difference between 4% and 5% of success. John Taylor comes from a party which I think has to face up to the reality that real change is needed as we go into the next century. Unionists can't prevent that. If the Unionists are reluctant or nervous about the future, then it is a lack of confidence in themselves, a lack of trust in themselves and they need to set that aside. John Taylor and his colleagues should take their courage in their hands, set aside thier reluctance about the future and knuckle down to plan an equitable agreement with the rest of us. That is what this paper, I think, in the next few days has provided the focus for: Detailed, sustained, focused negotiations.''

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