28 October 2004 Edition

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SF won't settle for less than Agreement

Speaking as efforts continue to see a deal done which would see the political impasse broken, Sinn Féin MLA Caitríona Ruane on Wednesday reemphasised the party's position that "any deal must be done within the framework provided by the Good Friday Agreement".

On Tuesday, senior Irish and British officials met separately with Sinn Féin and the DUP in London.

"Sinn Féin has said repeatedly that we want to see a deal done," says Ruane. "We have been working hard to try and achieve progress but the bottom line is that the DUP needs to accept that a comprehensive deal is not possible short of the Good Friday Agreement.

"Sinn Féin will not settle for anything less than the Agreement.

"The fundamentals of the Good Friday Agreement are not up for negotiation. These include power sharing, equality, all-Ireland institutions, human rights and crucially the checks and balances designed to prevent unionist abuse of power.

"They were agreed by all of the parties to the talks, including the two governments, and they must be defended in the face of attempts to see them diluted. Any deal which is done must be done within the framework provided by the Good Friday Agreement."

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