[Sinn Fein]

23rd July 2002

Gerry Adams meets with John Reid

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP and party colleague North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly this morning met the British Secretary of State John Reid. Speaking following the meeting Mr. Adams said:

``The reality is that Catholics are being killed in Belfast. There is an planned, organised campaign by loyalists against Catholics. The unionist response to this is to seek the exclusion of Sinn Fein from our rightful place on the Executive and tomorrow the British Prime Minister is making remarks aimed at republicans at the behest of the UUP and the securocrats within their own system.

``This is disgraceful. It is totally and absolutely unacceptable. We have told Downing Street that. We told Dr. Reid that this morning. We have also told the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern that.

``What is required is confidence building measures by pro-Agreement parties, by the Executive and led by the First Minister, which makes it clear that sectarianism is wrong and which upholds the primacy of the political institutions as the place to sort out these problems. What is required is that the British system faces up to the reality that the threat against this process at this time comes from the loyalist killing campaign.

``Rather than tolerating this campaign they must stand up against the groups who are involved in it. Day time drug pushers - night time sectarian killers.''

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