[Sinn Fein]

28 November 1996

Major rejects peace initiative

Responding to this afternoon's statement from John Major in the House of Commons, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said:

``Earlier this week I expressed my concern at the leaks from the British government and the Unionists about John Major's response to proposals put to him by John Hume and myself. As I said at that time if these leaks represented the British government position then Mr. Major's response would be a rejection of our proposals.

``No matter how positively or softly Mr. Major's statement is interpreted there is no doubt it is a rejection of our initiative, which had the support of the Irish government.

``Downing Street was aware that John Hume and myself were meeting last night. Today's statement was aimed at sabotaging our effort to rebuild a real peace process. Once again narrow party political interests are being put before the question of peace in Ireland.

``Mr. Major has yet to embrace the concept of an inclusive, negotiated peace settlement. It is his refusal to do so which is the main blockage at this time.''

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