[Sinn Fein]

10 September 1996

Alderdice position inconsistent and selective

Sinn Fein Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin commenting on the paper to be presented this morning by the Alliance leader John Alderdice to Senator Mitchell said:

``The manoeuvrings, the delays, the accusations and counter-accusations, all of which are now taking place at Stormont, are evidence of the short sightedness of preconditions and the way in which they are used to undermine and devalue negotiations.

``Current events at Stormont also provide proof of the selective use of preconditions against Sinn Fein.''

Mr. McLaughlin criticised the Alliance leader's contradictory approach to Sinn Fein's involvement in talks:

``John Alderdice believes, quite rightly, that the DUP and UUP have breached the spirit and the letter of the Mitchell Principles. Despite this, and despite the behaviour of the loyalist parties, he continues to support the exclusion of Sinn Fein. This position is contradictory and inconsistent but more importantly it ensures that the talks process at Stormont remains flawed and incapable of reaching a negotiated settlement.

``It is clear that the only realistic way to tackle these difficulties is to remove all preconditions''

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