[Sinn Fein]

10th May 1999

Meeting with Ulster Unionists Disappointing

Following a meeting between Sinn Fein and the Ulster Unionist Party this morning Sinn Fein's Chief Negotiator, Mid Ulster MP, Martin McGuinness expressed his disappointment. Mr. McGuinness said:

``The meeting was a disappointment. Following the good meeting in Downing Street last week we went into this meeting in a positive frame of mind.

``Unfortunately the Ulster Unionists had no new ideas to put forward. Our position is that we don't accept the approach being adopted by the Ulster Unionist Party, we can understand the context in which it evolved and developed but their position is a serious mistake. We believe that the context must be changed by the British Prime Minister. He is the key and must liberate Mr. Trimble from the present position that he has adopted.

``Mr. Blair as a matter of urgency needs to reconvene the discussions which occurred last week, as we only have a very small timeframe with which to deal with. You are all aware that we are facing into a very difficult period over this summer with the European Elections, the marching season, the whole situation over Drumcree and the Loyalist paramilitaries and their continuing murderous attacks on the Catholic community.

``I believe that David Trimble knows in his heart of hears that this is the best opportunity this century to resolve the conflict that has bedeviled our people for so long. We must now get on and do the business and to effectively establish the institutions which should have been established last year.''

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