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Martin McGuinness says Paisley must give clarity

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Sceala Irish Craic Forum Discussion:     Martin McGuinness says Paisley must give clarity

Sinn Fein chief negotiator Martin McGuinness says that it is time for the Ian Paisley leader of the DUP to make his intentions clear.

Speaking after Gerry Adams confrimed that the British prime minister Tony Blair had the mesaure of Sinn Feins views on policing McGuinness said "There is no point pretending the DUP have agreed to share power" Martin McGuinness further said it was "obvious" Ian Paisley did not agree with the assessment of the DUP's position by Prime Minister Tony Blair. He said the DUP had not agreed to share power by 26 March or agreed the timetable for the transfer of policing powers by May 2008.

"Mr Paisley had to clearly agree with the PM's assessment, What we really need to hear from Ian Paisley is that he not only welcomes Tony Blair's assessment, but he agrees with it," he said.

"Nationalists and republicans will not accept political, legal or policing institutions which are not representative and democratically and legally accountable," he said.

Mr McGuinness said his party would work to see the issued resolved, but that the DUP and two governments had to play "their full part".

Last Thursday the DUP leader said his party was willing to make progress but that "upfront delivery is required from Sinn Fein" on policing.

However, DUP MEP Jim Allister said on Friday he could not foresee a time when policing and justice could be devolved to an assembly.

Gerry Adams had gathered the leaders of Sinn Fein and they voted last month to hold a conference on the issue of whether to support policing. But the party signalled on Wednesday this was in doubt because the move had not received a "positive enough" response from DUP leader Ian Paisley.

This was enough to make Mr Blair return early from his holiday in Florida for emergency talks. "I am confident both parties want to see progress and will honour their commitments, but there is no point in proceeding unless there is such clarity."

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