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1 April 2004 Edition

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Adams concerned at lack of progress

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP, in Dublin for a series of meetings with community groups and two public meetings in Tallaght and Dundrum, expressed concern this week at the "lack of progress in efforts to inject a new momentum into the peace process". He said: "Our leadership remains in contact with both governments. We have argued for a two-pronged approach. This will involve substantive efforts to restore the political institutions, alongside the two governments implementing their obligations under the Agreement.

"Instead we have a Review which is now little more than a farce and even that has been cancelled until after Easter, despite parties like Sinn Féin putting forward a comprehensive agenda for discussion.

"The two governments have to come up with a more focused structure if they really want to make progress."

Commenting on the DUP position, Adams said:

"Despite all the positive spin, there is no evidence that the DUP is prepared to engage positively with the peace process or with the institutions established under the Good Friday Agreement. The DUP terms for talking to Sinn Féin are totally unacceptable.

"The failure of the two governments to honour their commitments under the Agreement and last October, reinforces the DUP in this position. Indeed, why should the DUP properly engage at all when by doing nothing they can veto progress.

"The British and Irish governments hold the key to unlocking the current stalemate. By implementing their obligations, by making it clear to unionism that it cannot block change, the two governments can engender confidence and create an atmosphere in which everyone can feel liberated and empowered to move forward."

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