16 May 1997
Sinn Fein Responds to Blair
Sinn Fein's Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness MP responding to today's speech by the British Prime Minister Tony Blair said ``Many nationalists will be disappointed by the pro-unionist emphasis in Mr. Blair's speech.''
Mr. McGuinness said:
``The opportunity for peace created in 1994 was squandered by the Major government.
``The recent election results have rekindled public hope and expectation of progress. The overall objective must be to remove the causes of conflict and establish a just and lasting peace.
``Sinn Fein's focus for some time has been on the restoration of the peace process by ensuring that a meaningful and inclusive process of negotiations is genuinely on offer.
``Of course in any negotiations Sinn Fein will represent and promote the Irish Republican analysis.''
Concerning Mr. Blair's reference to a meeting with government officials Mr. McGuinness said:
``Our renewed democratic mandate demands that we be involved in dialogue on the same basis as all other parties.
``While asserting our democratic rights and that of our electorate, we will take every opportunity, particularly with the two governments to address the core issues central to the creation of a meaningful and inclusive process of peace negotiations.''
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