[Sinn Fein]

12 September 2001

Sinn Fein meets US Ambassador

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP MLA and Martin McGuinness MP MLA last night met the US Ambassador Richard Haas.

Commenting this morning on the hour long meeting a spokesperson for Mr. Adams said that the meeting was `very useful, friendly and constructive'.

``Both Mr. Adams and Mr. McGuinness expressed to Mr. Haas their deep shock at events yesterday in the United States and offered their sympathy to President Bush and to the people of the United States on the enormous loss of life.

``The Ambassador's continued presence, in the context of events in the US, is evidence of the Administration's commitment to the peace process in Ireland.

``The meeting ranged across the difficulties in the peace process that have arisen during the summer; the resignation of the UUP Leader David Trimble as First Minister, the British government's suspension of the institutions, the withdrawal by the IRA of its offer on weapons, the loyalist campaign against Catholics, the crisis around Policing, the arrest of three Irish republicans in Colombia and the blockade of the Holy Cross school in Ardoyne.

``On Colombia Mr. Adams made it clear that the party had no case to answer in relation to the arrest of the three Irishmen. Mr. Haas outlined US Foreign policy and national security interests in that region - interests that we understand.

``The essential part of the meeting concentrated on the progress that is required by September 23rd if sufficient progress is to be made to end the crisis, and see the process consolidated and advanced.''

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