[Sinn Fein]

8 April 1997

Inclusive talks only way forward

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams, speaking tonight in Newry where he is campaigning with Sinn Fein candidate Pat McNamee, reiterated his personal belief that ``there will be inclusive all-party talks and that we will achieve a negotiated settlement.''

Mr. Adams said:

``There can be no democratic alternative to dialogue as the means of resolving this, or indeed any conflict. This is one of the critical lessons of the past five years. It is an approach which collapsed because John Major and the unionist leadership lacked the courage and vision to build upon it. It is an approach which we must strive to rebuild as quickly as possible.

``Sinn Fein remains totally committed to our peace strategy. We assert our right to be involved in any negotiations and we demand that equality of treatment for everyone must become a reality.

``This is an issue which the new British government cannot ignore. With an election imminent also in the 26 Counties the new government there must be committed to a more coherent policy than Mr. Bruton's.

``No amount of bluster by John Major can disguise the failure of his Irish policy. When decisive positive leadership was required he played party politics with the peace process. A horse race is disrupted and it dominates the media but the killing of an Irish catholic by loyalists is almost entirely ignored by the political leaderships of these islands and by large sections of the media.

``This is not the way to rebuild the peace process. We must set our minds firmly on the task of creating the conditions for credible, inclusive negotiations. Our collective endeavour must be to bring an end to all armed actions by all of the armed groups.

``There is only one way to achieve a peace settlement and that is through genuine and credible inclusive all-party talks. There is no alternative.''

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