[Sinn Fein]

17 May 1997

Exclusion has failed - Adams

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams commenting on the decision by the British government to end contact with Sinn Fein said:

``The decision of the British government to suspend contacts with Sinn Fein highlights the double standards which tolerate violent actions by British forces and an ongoing campaign by the loyalists.

``Sinn Fein is absolutely committed to our peace strategy and to playing a positive and constructive role in the shared responsibility of securing a democratic peace settlement.

``We will not be deflected from this under any circumstances whatsoever. The decision by the British government to break contact with our party once again is wrong.

``Sinn Fein has a democratic mandate which should be recognised and upheld by the British government. We should be dealt with on the same basis as every other party. This is not only the democratic and proper way to proceed it is also tactically and strategically crucial if the British government is genuine about playing a leading role in the search for a lasting peace in Ireland.

``Exclusion has failed. It is a primary cause of conflict. It is a legacy of the past. Inclusion on the basis of equality is the only hope for the future. A credible process of negotiations which deals with the core issues and which is led by the two governments should be put in place without delay and all obstacles to the inclusion of democratically mandated parties must be removed.''

Responding to John Bruton's personalised attack on him Gerry Adams said:

``While it is disappointing that Mr. Bruton responds in this way, invective is no substitute for political leadership.''

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