[Sinn Fein]

5th November 1999

Mitchell Review at critical point - Martin McGuinness

Sinn Fein chief negotiator Martin McGuinness, speaking in Belfast this morning, has described the current review of the Good Friday Agreement as the ``most critical phase of negotiations all of us have faced so far in this peace process''. Mr McGuinness said:

``Sinn Fein has diligently sought to understand the concerns and difficulties which unionism has in a peace process which is to promote and institute fundamental change and equality at every level of society.

``Nevertheless those fears cannot be allowed to continue to act as a drag on the review process and the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. The urgent need at this time is for progress. We do not have unlimited time to end the crisis in the peace process. The imperative at this time is for political leaders to lead and to swiftly remove the blockages that have done so much damage to confidence in the Good Friday Agreement.

``This is the most critical phase of negotiations that we have collectively faced since the peace process took root. It must not fail.

``It is an opportunity to decisively drive the peace process forward and reverse the erosion of confidence which has acts a cloud of gloom over recent times. Sinn Fein is fully committed to the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement and to the pursuit of a lasting peace settlement.''

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