[Sinn Fein]

7 July 2000

Adams in Washington

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP will be in the United States this weekend holding a series of high level meetings with political leaders in Washington, as well as in the White House.  Mr. Adams said: ``It is my intention to brief US opinion on the current situation in the peace process in Ireland.''

Mr. Adams said:

``I will also take the opportunity to thank the Senate and Congressional leaders for their sterling efforts in support of peace in Ireland. This was very evident in recent weeks in the Senate and Congressional criticism of the British government's handling of the Policing issue and the demand that it implement in full the Patten report.  This is a critical issue and US backing for a new civic policing service is vital.

``The unprecedented IRA initiative of May 6th brought an end to the impasse in the peace press and made progress possible.

``Having ensured the re-establishment of the political institutions there is now a heavy responsibility on all of the participants, but especially the British government, to fully implement the commitments made in the Good Friday Agreement, and by Mr. Blair at Hillsborough on May 5th.

``These commitments cover a broad range of human rights, economic, political, demilitarisation and policing issues. And I will be seeking US backing for the implementation of these commitments.

``Obviously there is also a focus on the current violence around the Orange Order's demand to march through nationalist areas in the north. The desire for unionist domination and supremacy which these marches reflect is legacy of our past.  Those who make these demands are against progress.  But do not reflect, in my view the many decent Protestants and unionists, who are appalled by the campaign of intimidation and terror that is allegedly carried out in their name.

``All of this is evidence of the difficulties and obstacles we still have to overcome.  However, I believe, that with political will and commitment all of these matters can be resolved.''

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