[Sinn Fein]

29 August 1997

Doherty says Democratic Mandate is Basis for Talks Entry

Sinn Fein Vice President Pat Doherty has welcomed the British Secretary of State Mo Mowlam's announcement today regarding entry to the talks process. But Mr Doherty added that Sinn Fein were entitled to be at the all-party talks table on the basis of the democratic mandate the party enjoyed from the Irish electorate.

Mr Doherty said:

``Sinn Fein will be in attendance on 15 th September. We hope that the representatives of all other opinion on this island will also attend, ensuring the maximum participation and engagement. We will enter the negotiations as an Irish Republican party seeking to end British jurisdiction in our country; to bring an end to partition and division. Our aim is to secure National Self Determination for all the Irish people.

``We will engage in these negotiations in good faith and with the intention of listening to the views of others.

``Dialogue is the only means by which we can all seek out an agreed settlement. That is our task and we look forward to this historic challenge.''

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