Nationalists feel let down by allegations of IRA spying at the heart of government, Brid Rodgers, deputy leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party said tonight.
Ahead of a visit to the United States to brief politicians about the latest crisis in the peace process, Mrs Rodgers said the Good Friday Agreement must be put back on track.
“Unionists clearly are concerned at apparent IRA spying. We will be pointing out that nationalists feel badly let down too, not least because IRA activity both alleged and proven is strengthening the hand of anti-Agreement forces.”
As the parties prepare for round table talks at Stormont this week to find a way out of the current impasse, Mrs Rodgers said anti-agreement unionists must not be allowed to turn back the clock on the Agreement.
She said she would be taking the opportunity to set out the SDLP’s proposals for moving out of the present impasse.
“I will be stressing that while the Assembly may be suspended, the Agreement is not. We will be calling on Americans to back our view that anti-Agreement unionist politicians must not be allowed to turn back the clock on the Agreement’s changes.
“I will also be telling Americans of the need for inclusive talks to implement all the Agreement and to deal with all of the confidence issues,” she added.
The Upper Bann Assembly member said she would also be making clear that nationalists have their own confidence issues on the issue of the unionists’ willingness to share power. She added that loyalist paramilitaries continued to pose the greatest threat to life and limb in Northern Ireland.
“We want to see loyalist paramilitaries closed down,” she added.
Last week, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern confirmed tha he would be reconvening the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation which was set up after the 1994 IRA ceasefire.
Mrs Rodgers said she would be briefing US politicians on the vital work that the Forum must do to agree a vision for Irish unity, based on equality and the protections of the Agreement.