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DATE=5/4/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-248969 TITLE=SINN FEIN / MCGUINNESS (L-O) BYLINE=CANDACE WILLIAMS DATELINE=WASHINGTON CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: A LEADING CATHOLIC POLITICIAN FROM NORTHERN IRELAND WARNS THE PROVINCE'S STALLED PEACE PROCESS IS IN DANGER OF FAILING UNLESS STEPS ARE TAKEN TO SALVAGE THE EFFORT. MARTIN MCGUINNESS, THE CHIEF NEGOTIATOR FOR THE IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY'S POLITICAL WING, SINN FEIN, MADE THE COMMENT TUESDAY IN WASHINGTON. V-O-A'S CANDACE WILLIAMS REPORTS. TEXT: SINN FEIN NEGOTIATOR MARTIN MCGUINNESS WAS FLANKED BY SEVERAL MEMBERS OF CONGRESS AS HE WARNED THAT THE GOOD FRIDAY PEACE ACCORD ENDING CIVIL STRIFE IN NORTHERN IRELAND IS NOT BEING FULLY IMPLEMENTED. THE AGREEMENT WAS CONCLUDED ON APRIL 10TH OF LAST YEAR, TO END THREE DECADES OF SECTARIAN VIOLENCE BETWEEN PROTESTANTS AND CATHOLICS IN THE BRITISH-RULED PROVINCE. BUT A DISPUTE OVER GUERRILLA DISARMAMENT THREATENS TO DERAIL THE PEACE PROCESS. PRO-BRITISH UNIONIST POLITICIANS -- LED BY DAVID TRIMBLE -- REFUSE TO PARTICIPATE IN A POWER-SHARING COUNCIL WITH THE CATHOLIC SINN FEIN UNLESS THE IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY SURRENDERS WEAPONS FROM ITS WAR AGAINST BRITISH RULE. BUT THE I-R-A REFUSES TO DISARM AND MR. MCGUINNESS SAYS A WEAPONS HANDOVER WAS NOT A PRECONDITION OF LAST YEAR'S GOOD FRIDAY ACCORD. // MCGUINNESS ACT// LET'S BE CLEAR ABOUT WHAT THE GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT SAYS IN RELATION TO DECOMMISSIONING. IT SAYS THE RESPONSIBILITY TO TRY AND BRING THIS ABOUT, LIES NOT WITH SINN FEIN, BUT LIES WITH ALL THE PARTICIPANTS, AND WE ARE ONLY ONE OF THOSE PARTICIPANTS. //END ACT// NATIONALIST SINN FEIN POLITICIANS SAY THE APRIL 1998 AGREEMENT MERELY CALLS FOR DISARMAMENT BY THE YEAR 2000. NR. MCGUINNESS SAYS HE IS WORRIED THE AGREEMENT WILL FAIL IF ITS TERMS ARE NOT FOLLOWED -- AND PLANS TO RELAY THIS WARNING TO TOP U-S OFFICIALS. //2ND MCGUINNESS ACT// I WILL BE TELLING THE WHITE HOUSE THAT I BELIEVE THAT THE GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT IS ON A LIFE SUPPORT MACHINE, THAT DRASTIC ACTION IS REQUIRED TO REMEDY THE SITUATION, THAT THERE IS A RESPONSIBILITY ON EVERYBODY, BUT PARTICULARLY ON THE BRITISH AND IRISH GOVERNMENTS TO IMPLEMENT THE TERMS OF THE GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT AS NEGOTIATED LAST YEAR. I BELIEVE THERE IS A PARTICULAR RESPONSIBILITY ON THE BRITISH PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR. I BELIEVE HE HAS A KEY ROLE TO PLAY. //END ACT// //OPT// MR. MCGUINNESS PRAISED THE UNITED STATES FOR ITS ROLE IN TRYING TO SECURE PEACE IN THE PROVINCE. PRESIDENT CLINTON HAS MADE THE NORTHERN IRELAND PEACE PROCESS ONE OF HIS KEY FOREIGN POLICY OBJECTIVES. BUT THE SINN FEIN NEGOTIATOR SAYS THE PROBLEMS OF NORTHERN IRELAND SHOULD NOT BE OVERLOOKED BECAUSE OF OTHER PRESSING WORLD ISSUES, SUCH AS THE KOSOVO CRISIS. //END OPT// MR. MCGUINNESS WILL BE IN LONDON THURSDAY, WHERE BRITISH PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR, THE PRIME MINISTER OF IRELAND BERTIE AHERN AND RIVAL NORTHERN IRELAND POLITICIANS WILL MEET TO DISCUSS THE CURRENT IMPASSE. ALL THE PARTICIPANTS HAVE SAID THEY WILL STAY AT THE NEGOTIATING TABLE UNTIL THE DEADLOCK IS BROKEN. (SIGNED) NEB/CAW/PHW/WFR 04-May-99 7:24 PM EDT (2324 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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