[Sinn Fein]

1 December 1998

Unionist obstruction only remaining obstacle

Statement from Sinn Fein assembly member for Foyle and Party Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin on the current efforts to agree the establishment of the All-Ireland Policy and Implementation bodies.

Mr. McLaughlin said:

``Recent weeks have seen sensitive work on the nature and extent of the all-Ireland policy and implemenation bodies. All of this technical work has now been completed. Unionist obstruction is the only remaining obstacle to agreement on these bodies.

``The Irish government, Sinn Fein and the SDLP share the view that the all-island institutions must be substantive, dynamic and capable of further development.

``For Nationalists the most important institutional dimension of the agreement is the establishment of these all-Ireland institutions.

``The unionist strategy is aimed at hollowing out these structures. We have a responsibility to ensure that this does not happen. Unionism cannot be allowed to pocket the assembly and then, by resisting agreement on the other institutions, render them meaningless.''

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