22 January 2004 Edition

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Adams to meet senior US officials

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams flew to the United States on Tuesday, where he is visiting New York and also Washington DC, where he will meet with senior US Government officials.

The visit comes at a crucial point in the Peace Process and shortly before the review of the Good Friday Agreement is scheduled to start.

The Sinn Féin leader will also be speaking to senior US political figures and will make a courtesy call on former US President Jimmy Carter in Atlanta. President Carter has a unique and distinguished record of work on human rights and conflict resolution matters.

Speaking before he left, Gerry Adams said:

"This visit will provide me with an opportunity to brief the US Government and senior political figures on the situation in the North following November's Assembly elections.

"The United States has proved an invaluable ally in developing and sustaining the Peace Process. It is crucial that we continue to engage with it seeking its support and advice.

"Richard Haass was a key player in the past and contributed significantly to the efforts to resolve difficulties in the process.

"I am also pleased to have the opportunity to meet former US President Jimmy Carter. He has been a vocal and effective voice of reason arguing for human rights and justice and conflict resolution processes."

Sinn Féin Assembly leader in London

Sinn Féin Assembly Group leader, Newry/Armagh MLA Conor Murphy was in London on Tuesday to brief MPs on the current situation with the Good Friday Agreement. He also addressed a cross-party round table discussion meeting, After the elections: what prospects for progress? at the House of Commons organised by the Friends of Ireland - Friends of the Good Friday Agreement.

Murphy will head Sinn Féin's Review team in the upcoming discussions, due to start on 3 February.

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