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Kenny warns Durkan against FF 30.11.07

ANY moves by the SDLP to amalgamate with Fianna Fáil would damage relations with other parties in the Republic, Fine Gael has warned.
At a meeting this week Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny urged SDLP leader Mark Durkan against entering into any formal relationship with Fianna Fáil.
"We believe that the restoration of the political institutions in May has opened up the potential for lasting peace and growing prosperity throughout the island of Ireland," said Mr. Kenny.
“However, I would remind the members of the SDLP that their party has enjoyed positive relations with all parties in the Republic, giving the SDLP unprecedented access down through the years to Irish governments of all political persuasions. This has also resulted
SDLP leader Mark Durkan is warned against any deal with Fianna Fáil.
in cross-party political support for the SDLP." Mr. Kenny said Fine Gael had always had a "strong relationship" with the SDLP.
"I would argue that, during the height of the Northern troubles, it was Fine Gael's policy that was closest to that of the SDLP. Former Fine Gael Taoisigh Liam Cosgrave, Garret Fitzgerald and John Bruton were insistent on the SDLP being centrally involved in all efforts towards a peace settlement. "
He accused the FF/PD coalition of "excluding and sidelining" the SDLP from the negotiations on the restoration of power sharing.
“Positive relations with the southern parties can be a unique selling point for the SDLP in an era of growing north-south economic and political co-operation," added Mr. Kenny.
"However, the SDLP membership need to know that if they decide to enter into an exclusive or formal relationship with one party, then the SDLP's relationships with the other parties in the south will change very fundamentally. Such a move would, I believe, be politically damaging to the SDLP in the long term.”
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