Unionists don't need to trust me to strike deal with me, insists Gerry Adams
Trust is not a precondition for making political progress, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has said as the latest crisis talks prepare to start.
During an interview with The Sunday Business Post, Mr Adams was quizzed over whether unionist politicians trusted him or not.
He was asked if he understood why unionist politicians were suspicious, given the recent murders, and why unionists do not believe him when he says he was never a member of the IRA.
Mr Adams said: "First of all, let me say this: trust is not a precondition for making political progress.
"Do you think the politicians in this government trust each other? No. People in business don't trust each other. People who are married at times do not trust each other,
"So I hear these folks waxing lyrical about the absence of trust."
Then Mr Adams was asked if he trusted unionists.
He said: "I trust me. Right? Peter Robinson trusts us enough to say at the plenary session of the talks, two weeks ago: 'I don't believe that Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams had anything to do with the murder of Kevin McGuigan.'
"I mean, I trust Peter Robinson that he wants to make this work. Now he wants to make it work on his own terms, and unfortunately, that's not possible.
"And that's why he should not be pandered to be governments. The governments have an obligation to keep moving the process on."
When questioned about his involvement with the IRA, Mr Adams said: "As a matter of ongoing fact, it is stated by all of the media that I was a member of the IRA.
"The only people who raise the issue with me are journalists. You know, I'm not defined by that issue or by that question.
"The people who voted for me in Louth clearly trust me, the people who vote for me as party president."
Mr Adams went on to say: "I mean, the IRA is gone. It is a proscribed organisation. If I was a member of the IRA, and I all of a sudden confessed to you, there would be two consequences of that.
"One would be a row over me being arrested; and given the ballyhoo, I would never get a fair trial.
"But leaving that to one side, if I wasn't arrested and charged with that, there'd then be a huge storm over why I wasn't arrested.
"I genuinely never, never get asked that question or get accused of that by anyone, other than opponents or journalists."