02/01/2007

DUP leader claims Sinn Fein caused delay in political process

Democratic Unionist Party Leader Ian Paisley has said that Sinn Fein's failure to make a move over policing issues has caused the political process to be delayed.

Speaking during his New Year's message, the Reverend Ian Paisley said that due to the delay in the Sinn Fein party conference to make a decision on the on the policing issue, it has reduced the prospect of any immediate action.

He said that Sinn Fein's “begrudging movement will only serve to delay opportunities available to us in the incoming months of 2007.”

Mr Paisley continued: “Gerry Adams has asked that the Government and the Unionists respond to Sinn Fein’s latest ‘initiative’ positively. Unionists stand ready to respond but have been denied opportunity because we must have something of substance to which we can respond.

“Now we wait for the follow-up actions. This process is about delivery of real, meaningful and quality support for the police, the courts, and the rule of law. I have spelt out on many occasions what this means in real terms, and like all sensible unionists I am now awaiting the quality delivery.”

Mr Paisley added that for the first time in our history, republicans are contemplating support for the police and the courts in Northern Ireland and nothing should be done to discourage this.

“Sinn Fein must honour their commitments. It is action not words that count. When they do so the DUP will not be found wanting. If the Government believes its timetable is achievable, they would do well to press with us on Sinn Fein to deliver in a real and meaningful way.”

He concluded by saying that the DUP is keen to see real political progress made, but it must be sound, condition-satisfied, credibly tested and quality-assured certainty that will prompt any advance.

“Northern Ireland cannot afford in 2007 an Assembly that stutters and sputters from crisis to suspension. What matters most is that we get it right. People want us to ensure that it is stable and built to last, and when built, that we make it work for the benefit of everyone.”

(EF)

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