[Sinn Fein]

22nd December 2002

Martin Ferris meets Thabo Mbeki at ANC conference

Sinn Fein TD for North Kerry Martin Ferris today returns from a week-long trip to the 51st ANC National Conference, which took place in the Western Cape of South Africa last week. Speaking prior to his departure from Cape Town Deputy Ferris said:

Over the last week myself and Martin Spain, Editor of An Phoblacht, held a series of meetings with senior members of the ANC including party General Secretary Kgalema Motlanthe and National Executive member Cyril Ramaphosa. We also met with South African President Thabo Mbeki on the final day of the conference.

During our visit I updated senior members of the ANC on the current difficulties in the Irish peace process and the need for the two governments to bring a renewed focus and urgency to the discussions which are taking place. 

The ANC assured us of their ongoing support for the Irish peace process and said that they would do everything in their power to see the Good Friday Agreement implemented in full. 

I want to thank the ANC for inviting us to their conference and sharing their experience of conflict resolution. On our return to Ireland we will be making a full report to the Sinn Fein Ard Chomhairle.

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