3 March 2005 Edition

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Adams to travel to US

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams will travel to the United States on 12 March for a series of speaking engagements and meetings with the Irish-American community, US political leaders and government officials.

Adams' schedule includes visits to Cincinnati, New York, Washington, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Cleveland.

Adams will address the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on Monday morning 14 March.

The party has decided that Martin McGuinness MP, who was also due to travel to the US, will remain in Ireland.

A Sinn Féin spokesperson said: "The political situation is much too grave for both Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness to be out of Ireland at the same time. Adams will engage with a wide range of US political and Irish-American opinion. This will provide him with an opportunity to outline Sinn Féin's view of the current situation and our efforts to put the Peace Process back on track."

The Sinn Féin spokesperson also said that the party decided last week to change planned fundraising events into speaking engagements.

The spokesperson said: "Initially, many of the planned events were to be fundraisers. However, the party leadership was concerned that there was a likelihood that fundraising would become a contentious issue for the US Government and a distraction, therefore, from the necessary work of rebuilding the peace process. The party leadership decided that no fundraising will be done at this time."

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