28th June 1999
A Deal is Possible - Adams
While expressing the belief that adeal is possible in the current negotiations before Wednesday, the Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP warned that, ``Unionists must understand that failure to strike a deal must mean the end of the Assembly. No deal on Wadnesday should mean no Assembly on Thursday''.
Speaking on the eve of the most critical negotiations since partition Mr. Adams again asserted his commitment to the Good Friday Agreement. He warned that there ``no altenative'', and that the June 30th deadline must be real. ``The Good Friday Agreement either progresses or falls on the decisions we take in the next 72 hours''. And he appealed to David Trimble to ``demonstrate the leadership which unionism needs at this difficult time by joining with the two governments and the other pro-agreement parties in implementing the Good Friday Agreement''.
The Sinn Fein President said:
``Despite all of the difficulties, real and hype, I believe it is possible to make a deal that will see all the institutions established, and all of the other outstanding and delayed aspects of the Good Friday Agreement implemented. It will require determination, political will, flexibility and a large dose of common sense.
Sinn Fein wants the agreement to work. There is no alternative. Failure to make progress is a risk no one should contemplate. I would appeal to David Trimble to demonstrate the leadership unionism needs at this difficult time by joining with the two govenments and the other pro-agreement parties in implementing the Good Friday Agreement''.
The reduction of this process to the slogan ``no guns no government'' turns the Good Friday Agreement on its head. The non-implementation of the Agreement thus far and the vacuum, which this has created, is the only product of that. All of the parties and the two governments know this. This is why Mr Blair and Mr Ahern have said there must be a return to the Good Friday Agreement. That ahs been the Sinn Fein psition all along, and we welcom this new focus.
The future is too important to be sqaundered because elements of unionism want to do things on their own terms. The only terms, which can bridge the impasse, are those agreed in the Belfast accord.
The June 30th deadline must be real. The Good Friday Agreement either progresses or falls on the decisions we make in the next 72 hours
Nationalist would see any other course of action by the governments in the face of unionist intransigence as evidence that the unionist veto works. It would be an encouragement to the rejectionist unionists, and those carrying out bomb attacks on catholic families, or holding the people of the Garvaghy Road under siege, as proof of the success of their strategies.
SF is totally committed to doing all that we can to make these negotiations successful.
Unionist must understand that failure to strike a deal must mean the end of the assembly. No deal on Wednesday should mean no Assembly on Thursday.
The responsibility of the two governments whatever the outcome of the next three days is to protect human rights, intrench the equality agenda in legislation and practice, pursue the creation of a proper policing service, remove injustice and defend cultural, economic, social and democratic rights. The British government should publish its demilitarisation strategy. And political prisoner belonging to organisations on cessation should continue to be released. These entitlements are not concessiosn they are basic rights, which should be available to every man, woman and child and their absence for most of this century has contributed much to conflict and division. There can be no equivocation, no prevarication, no backing down on the delivery of rights.''
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