[Sinn Fein]

31 March 1998

Adams talks to Blair

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP today had 15 minute telephone conversation with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. During the conversation they discussed a wide range of issues including fundamental political and constitutional change, demilitarisation, including prisoners, and policing. Mr Adams also raised the UN Commission report, the Brian Nelson affair and the equality agenda.

Mr Adams said:

`` In relation to constitutional issues I stressed that while the public focus was around changes in the Irish Constitution the democratic imperative was for fundamental change to all relevant British legislation in order that the move to democracy can be substantial and deep-rooted.

`` On equality, there needs to be a level playing pitch which requires that all citizens see change in all aspects of their daily lives. it is clear that the test of any agreement is whether it will be durable and this will only be possible if changes are substantial and deep rooted''.

``Mr Adams also impressed on Mr Blair that there was a need for an all party agreement and he warned against the UUP strategy of seeking a partial agreement which excludes Sinn Fein. This will not work. The days of exclusion are over.''

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