16 February 2006 Edition

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All Ireland agenda-time for action

BY LAURA FRIEL

Sinn Féin's General Secretary Mitchel McLaughlin has said there had been enough rhetoric and promises and that it is "now time for action" to achieve progress on the all Ireland agenda of the Good Friday Agreement.

The Foyle MLA said Sinn Féin was urging the British and Irish Governments to act instead of paying lip service to the further development and expansion of the cross border initiatives.

British Secretary of State Peter Hain recognises the need to move ahead on the All Ireland agenda, said McLaughlin, while Irish Minster Dermot Ahern has called for the development of infra-structural, economic and social structures on an All Ireland basis.

Welcoming this week's publication by the SDLP highlighting an All Ireland strategy, "North South Makes Sense" McLaughlin said there was a clear consensus developing.

"Two years ago Sinn Féin published its paper on the "Expansion of all-Ireland institutions and areas of work" as part of the review process. On many of the issues we addressed, there is a clear consensus between the SDLP and ourselves," said McLaughlin.

"This is very important. It means that, together and with the two governments, we can work to achieve progress. I look forward to working with the two governments, the SDLP and others in delivering this agenda," said McLaughlin.


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