Belfast Telegraph

Paisley frustrating deal: Adams

By Deborah McAleese
04 December 2004

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams today accused Ian Paisley of "frustrating" the chances of an agreement.

Hitting back at remarks made by the DUP leader that he will have to "bite his lip" and "do a good deal of swallowing" if a deal is to be done, Mr Adams said the outburst proves how far the DUP has to move to accept "the concepts of accommodation and equality at the core of the peace process."

Mr Paisley made the comments last night, just days after saying that the IRA should be "made to wear sackcloth and ashes" as humiliation for their crimes.

In response, Mr Adams said that republicans and nationalists should not be provoked, nor should they be surprised by Mr Paisley's comments.

"The use of such provocative, insulting and offensive language is the clearest evidence of how far the DUP have to move to embrace concepts of accommodation and equality, which are at the core of the peace process," he said.

Meanwhile, Alliance leader David Ford said Mr Paisley's "bite my lip" phrase was "a hugely significant statement" by the DUP leader.

"It would have been impossible for him to say that a few months ago. I hope that Dr Paisley will manage to repeat this commitment without the intemperate language, so that people can understand more clearly how far the political landscape has changed."

The SDLP's Mark Durkan said today he is hopeful that an agreement will be reached, that it will last and that politics can move ahead.

"After the highs and lows of the years since the Good Friday Agreement, people still hold to a future without guns and with good government on equal terms. That is the measure of what is at stake.

"There might be better ways of achieving all this than the process we have had, but that reality should not diminish any positive prospect now emerging," he said.

He added that the SDLP would encourage "a final push" to ensure hopes are not dashed.

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