[Sinn Fein]

20th April 1999

Sinn Fein accuses Trimble of blackmail

Speaking today Sinn Fein Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin accused David Trimble of holding the political press to ransom, and called on the two Governments to `stick by the Good Friday Agreement'.

Mr. McLaughlin said:

``Following our discussions yesterday with An Taoiseach and the British Prime Minister Sinn Fein is even more convinced that the only way to resolve the current crisis in the peace process is for the two governments to honour their obligations, fulfil their commitments and stick by the Good Friday Agreement.

``Talk of the two governments exerting pressure on Sinn Fein and the UUP misses the essential point that it is the two governments which have moved away from the Agreement and moved to David Trimble's position of demanding that the IRA decommission before power is transferred to the political institutions. Conceding to Mr. Trimble's blackmail threat to walk away from the Agreement, if he doesn't get what he wants, is not the way to end this crisis and move the peace process forward.

``The peace process is about demonstrating in an effective way the primacy of politics. It is the only way to move out of a conflict situation which has lasted for at least 30 years. The two governments must realise this.''

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