25th April 1999
Fine Gael, Labour must come clean on NATO and PfP
Sinn Fein has called on Fine Gael and the Labour Party to ``come clean'' on neutrality and joining the NATO-led Partnership for Peace.
Seán Crowe, Sinn Fein's European Parliament candidate for Dublin, said:
``Voters need to know where the parties stand.
``Fianna Fáil has reneged on its pledge to let the Irish people have their say in a referendum on Partnership for Peace.
``Mary Banotti said she was opposed to PfP but now is having second thoughts. Fine Gael's Gay Mitchell - brother of Mary Banotti's Euro running mate, Jim - is gung-ho to have Irish citizens going over the top for NATO and its PfP surrogate.
``Labour is speaking with two voices. Euro candidates Bernie Malone and Proinsias de Rossa say no to PfP while Ruairi Quinn and the Parliamentary Labour Party - the people who make the decisions in the Dáil - say another.''
Mr Crowe said that Sinn Fein opposes participation in the ``nuclear-armed NATO offensive allaince and its front organisation, PfP''.
Sinn Fein supports a positive role for Ireland within a United Nations framework, positive neutrality, an independent foreign policy and giving voters the chance to have their say on joining any military alliance through a referendum, he said.
``Why are Fianna Fáil, the Progressive Democrats and Fine Gael afraid of letting people give their opinion?''
The Labour Party is due to discuss the issue at next Wednesday's parliamentary party meeting.
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