[Sinn Fein]

15 March 2001

Gerry Adams to meet Colin Powell in Washington today

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP has arrived in Washington this morning following a brief stop-over in New York where he met Cardinal Egan and Governor Pataki.  Mr Adams is due to meet with US Secretary of State Colin Powell this afternoon and he will also brief other senior US political leaders including Senators Kennedy, Dodd and Clinton and Representatives Gilman and King on current difficulties in the peace process.

Mr Adams will meet President Bush tomorrow. Speaking from Washington, Mr Adams said:

``I am looking forward to meeting with President Bush tomorrow and I am certain that the Bush administration will continue to play an important role in support of the peace process. The bipartisan support for the process across Irish America was important in the past and will ensure that the issue of Ireland remains a political priority in the future.''

Responding to comments from First Minister David Trimble, Mr. Adams said:

`It is long past time for the Irish and British governments to take David Trimble to task for his unlawful actions as First Minister.  People are entitled to vote for the party of their choice and have that choice respected.  It is unacceptable that a First Minister who is meant to be acting in the interests of the entire community is engaged in such blatant discrimination.   The British and Irish governments have a responsibility to deal with this matter now.''

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