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31 July 2003 Edition

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Adams calls for election date on US visit

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP arrived in New York on Tuesday night, where he continued to press the message that the British government "has to set a date certain for the elections".

The Sinn Féin President told a meeting "not only is this a matter of political principle but I believe Mr Blair can be persuaded to go ahead with the elections if US opinion joins the growing lobby in Ireland demanding that this should happen".

Adams left Boston after briefing a Massachusetts Congressional delegation on the current state of the political process. This two-hour meeting with the delegation led by Congressman Richard Neal and which included Congressman Jim McGovern, Congressman Stephen Lynch and Congressman John Tierney, also focused on the very important issue of collusion.

In Boston, Adams had addressed the Irish American Partnership luncheon. The event, attended by over 300 people, raises funds for the Irish American Partnership, which provides financial support to community and educational projects in Ireland.

On Monday, after a one-hour meting with Ted Kennedy in his Boston office, the Sinn Féin president welcomed the US Senator's forthright support for the holding of elections in the Six Counties.

Adams was due to meet The National Council on American Foreign Policy's Bill Flynn in New York yesterday. He will meet with US Special Envoy to Ireland, Richard Haass today, Thursday, when he is expected to put the case strongly that the US do all in its power to ensure that the Assembly elections go ahead.

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