[Sinn Fein]

5 March 1998

Adams on Blair Meeting

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP speaking tonight in Dublin following a meeting of the party's Ard Chomhairle said:

``Sinn Fein is mandated to represent our electorate and to put the republican position which includes our peace strategy. We are wedded to this strategy as a means of bringing about a viable and lasting peace settlement.

There is a considerable lack of confidence in the present talks process because of recent developments. These include the expulsion of our party >from this process.

When we were expelled we sought meetings with the Taoiseach and the British Prime Minister.

The Taoiseach responded speedily and the Sinn Fein negotiating team met with him. Since then he and Gerry Adams have had a useful meeting.

The British Prime Minister has only now responded and I welcome the opportunity to engage with him so that we can acquaint him at first hand with our view of the current situation.

Our offices are trying to agree a suitable date.

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