[Sinn Fein]

12th March 2003

SF leaders on US coast to coast visit

Negotiations - a work in progress

Sinn Fein leaders Gerry Adams MP, Martin McGuinness MP, Pat Doherty MP, Martin Ferris TD and Gerry Kelly MLA today begin a six-day coast-to-coast trip to the United States where they will visit more than 17 cities and take part in a wide engagement with Irish America on the current negotiations in the peace process. Mitchel McLaughlin departs for Canada today for a six-day trip.  Cities they will visit include New York, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Seattle, San Francisco, Cleveland, Detroit and Toronto.

Speaking as they departed for the US this morning Pat Doherty MP said: ``Over the next six days we will be visiting cities across the US and Canada to update Irish Americans and our supporters in Canada on the current negotiations in the peace process. The message we will be bringing to the US and Canada this St. Patrick's Day is that while progress has been made in these talks, substantive gaps remain. I will be assuring our supporters and friends that discussions are continuing with the two governments and the other parties in a sustained effort to close these gaps. This is very much work in progress. And we will be seeking the ongoing support of Irish America and Canada.''ENDS

For further information contact Friends of Sinn Fein USA at 212 248-3232

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