9 December 2004 Edition
Text of letter from Gerry Adams to the Taoiseach on the governments' proposals
Thank you for your letter of 2 December.
I can confirm to you that I believe Sinn Féin can say yes to the political package contained in the proposals of the two governments. I share your hope that they open the way to a comprehensive partnership on the basis of the Good Friday Agreement.
As you know, Sinn Féin has serious concerns at the approach taken by the two governments on some of the issues. In all our discussions we consistently emphasised the need to protect the fundamentals of the Good Friday Agreement. These include power-sharing, the arrangements for voting on key issues, the executive authority of individual ministers and the all-Ireland architecture of the Agreement. We are satisfied that the proposals, as now presented, preserve the fundamentals of the Agreement.
The majority of nationalists in the north of Ireland believe that the issue of policing remains an unresolved matter. I have now made clear that I will propose to the Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle that it calls a special Ard Fheis to decide Sinn Féin's position on new arrangements when the context set out in the statement given to you is achieved. That is:
Agreement between the parties on the department model and the powers to be transferred;
The enactment by the British Government of the legislation to give full expression to this transfer of powers on policing and justice away from London; and
A DUP commitment to an acceptable timeframe for the transfer of powers on policing and justice.
You have acknowledged how Sinn Féin has gone to great lengths to use our influence successfully to make substantial progress on the issue of IRA arms. This matter is for the IICD and the IRA. My understanding is that, in the context of a comprehensive agreement, the IRA is prepared to resolve this issue conclusively and to deal with the issue of activities in a similar way.
I appreciate the work that you and your officials have put into these recent efforts to resolve the political impasse. I hope that we can now move forward on the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.
Is mise le meas,
Gerry Adams MP
Sinn Féin President