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10 June 2004 Edition

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Sinn Féin launches template for interface intervention

Sinn Féin published its template of interface intervention on Wednesday in Stormont. Speaking after meeting British NIO Security Minister Ian Pearson, East Belfast Councillor and Belfast deputy mayor Joe O'Donnell, called for the NIO to endorse the Sinn Féin template.

"Sinn Féin has been working on the ground for a number of years now to improve the situation on the interfaces," said O'Donnell. "What we have tried to do in developing this template is to provide interface communities with the practical mechanisms to deal with the various types of violence that might occurs.

"The long-term success of this initiative will be improved if it involves cooperation by representatives of the loyalist/unionist community.

"We made it clear to Ian Pearson that the NIO has to work with Sinn Féin in encouraging dialogue in interface areas and in particular to strong political leadership."

Last week, Gerry Adams welcomed a statement from DUP MPs Nigel Dodds and Peter Robinson on the need to work to achieve a peaceful summer.

The Sinn Féin leader agreed that everyone in positions of influence should do all in their powers to bring this about.

"It is important that this sentiment is acted upon at all levels of our community and I would urge community leaders and activists, particularly at interface areas, to engage with their counterparts across the political divide," said Adams.

"A peaceful summer would bring enormous relief for families and communities who have had to suffer the effects of interface conflict in the past. A peaceful summer would also make a significant contribution to rebuilding confidence in the political process.

"Two of our MLAs, Gerry Kelly and Alex Maskey, are currently engaged in intensive contacts with civic society, the community and voluntary sector, and political opinion across all sections of society with the objective of ensuring a peaceful summer."

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