[Sinn Fein]

30 August 1996

McGuinness calls for an entirely new peace process

In the course of an interview in today's Belfast based daily, the Irish News, Sinn Fein Ard Chomhairle member, Martin McGuinness said:

``Given the events of the last two years, from Sinn Fein's point of view what we require is an acceptance by the British government that a new peace process has to be inclusive with all the participants to the conflict involved.

``Those negotiations have to take place without precondition. All of the issues have to be on the table. There also has to be an agreed timeframe and our preference would be for a realistic period of between six and nine months to give dynamic to the talks and to motivate people to move decisively and imaginatively.''

``Two years on from the IRA cessation we have not had one word of real negotiation. That has left us all as we approach the autumn quite dismayed and very angry.

``What everybody wants to see on the island of Ireland is real and meaningful peace negotiations. The assessment of most people who have watched the debacle of the Belfast talks which resume on September 9 is that they will go absolutely nowhere. We need to rebuild an entirely new peace process.

``The peace process that many of us worked hard to create over the course of recent years has now been effectively destroyed, principally by the British government insisting on making the decommissioning issue and impediment to real talks.

``There is a need to remove all the guns but that can only happen in the context of politicians successfully negotiating an end to the conflict not the other way around as the British and the unionists have been determined to do.''

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