[Sinn Fein]

3 June 1997

Inclusive Talks Needed

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams, accompanied by a delegation of Sinn Fein representatives, was this morning refused entry into the Stormont Talks. Party Vice President Pat Doherty handed in letters for the British Secretary of State Mo Mowlam and Tanaiste Dick Spring.

Mr. Adams said:

``We are all living in challenging times. Last night, because of the vision of Sinn Fein Councillors, Belfast elected its first ever nationalist Mayor. This historic and symbolic event is evidence of changing times. Everyone knows change is necessary. Change is inevitable. The big question is how can that change be managed. In Sinn Fein's view it should be agreed and arrived at through inclusive negotiations.

``Locking Sinn Fein out of these talks can be no part of that. The two governments cannot dodge their responsibilities in this. So far what change has occurred has come about through the determination and courage of ordinary citizens.

``Equality is needed. It is not good enough for the British and Irish governments to say that the onus is on Sinn Fein, or to excuse the actions of British Forces, or turn a blind eye to the actions of loyalists.

``Clearly there are double standards.

``Sinn Fein is here to assert the rights of our electorate and the integrity of our democratic mandate which we have confirmed in two recent elections. ``We are here to make the point that the talks which are due to recommence today lack any credibility whatsoever.

``This will continue to be the case until the two governments put in place a meaningful and inclusive process of negotiations. They know that and they knew what is required to achieve that goal.

``For our part Sinn Fein is absolutely committed to rebuilding the peace process and to constructing a peace settlement which has the support and agreement of all the people of this island.''

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