[Sinn Fein]

29th January 2003

Success of Irish Peace Process remains a priority with White House

Sinn Fein Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness MP has described this afternoon's meeting with Ambassador Richard Haas as a very good engagement and said that the US Administration stand ready and willing to help the Irish peace process in any way that they can. Today in Washington Mr. McGuinness also met with a cross party delegation of members of Congress and with Senators Dodd and Kennedy.

Mr. McGuinness said:

``Today's meeting with Richard Haas was a very good engagement and is a testament to the huge importance which the White House attaches to the success of the Irish peace process. They are clearly aware of the current difficulties which we face and stand ready to help in any way that they can.

``I welcome the fact that Ambassador Haas will be in Ireland next week and I hope that this may provide an opportunity for a serious engagement between the parties and the Irish and British governments on all of the outstanding issues. The central focus of all of our efforts at this time must be the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.''

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