[Sinn Fein]

25th May 1999

UUP Refuses to honour promises

Sinn Fein Assembly member Alex Maskey commenting on today's UUP Assembly group statement said:

``It is very difficult to determine what the Ulster Unionist Party's current position actually is. On May 14th UUP leader David Trimble joined with the two governments, the SDLP and Sinn Fein in agreeing a process by which progress would be made in the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.

``The party leaders agreed to go back to their respective parties though this was to be kept private at the request of David Trimble.

``It was crystal clear at the conclusion of the discussions that this proposal was an agreed and final text and that it was complete and sufficient in terms of clarity and substance.

``The new Sinn Fein Ard Chomhairle met on Saturday, and despite its reservations, gave approval to the Downing Street proposition.

``Mr. Trimble subsequently denied any agreement, and the UUP refused to stand-by the process agreed in Downing Street.

``Despite this, and throughout last week, Sinn Fein maintained a dialogue with all concerned, including the UUP, aimed at realising the progress mapped out at Downing Street.

``At the weekend David Trimble told Gerry Adams that in his absence Reg Empey would meet with him and continue the dialogue between us. In the three days since then Mr. Empey has refused not only to meet Mr. Adams but to even speak on the telephone.

``Today's talk of obligation from the UUP lacks any credibility. The UUP has blocked progress since the Good Friday Agreement was reached, especially in the establishment of the institutions.

``The vacuum which the UUP stand has created is being filled by loyalist death squads who are obviously taking encouragement from the lack of progress.

``Today's statements is a re-run of the UUP unilateral decommissioning precondition which is no part of the Good Friday Agreement.

``One year on from the May referendum the UUP refuses to honour the promises it made and the mandate it received to implement the Agreement when it fought that campaign.''

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