[Sinn Fein]

20th November 1999

Doherty responds to media reports

Sinn Fein Vice President Pat Doherty speaking from the United States, where he is concluding a seven day visit to four US cities, has expressed his ``dismay and deep concern'' at the reporting of his remarks to an editorial Board meeting of the Boston Herald earlier this week. Mr. Doherty said:

``Any suggestion that I deviated in any way from the Sinn Fein position spelt out this week in statements in Belfast is entirely wrong. I am 110% behind the position articulated by our party President Gerry Adams on November 16th.

``All of my remarks on this issue were clearly set in this context and in the context of the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement in all its aspects, including decommissioning. Sinn Fein is committed to fully discharging all our responsibilities and obligations in this regard as set out in the Agreement.

``This phase of the peace process is very obviously at a defining and difficult moment. Half reported accounts or words or comments taken out of context or indeed ill-judged remarks by a speaker have the potential to cause enormous problems.

``Sinn Fein is not in the business of double-crossing or misleading anyone. Such a course of action would be disastrous. We are in the business of making peace.''

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