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29 March 2007 Edition

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Adams says 'thank you' to International community

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP spoke with former US President Bill Clinton on Monday night.
Adams who earlier spoke with Senator Ted Kennedy, thanked Clinton for “his efforts over many years to support and encourage the peace process.”
Speaking in Belfast on Tuesday Adams said:
“The peace process has come a long way over the last 15 years. Significant progress has been made, and initiatives and developments have occurred which many would have thought impossible. Monday’s meeting between the DUP and Sinn Féin is the most potent and recent example of that.
“A new and unprecedented opportunity for progress now exists. People are more hopeful now than at any time since the Good Friday Agreement.
“Of course, there is still a long way to go and much work to be done but I believe it is right and proper that we take this time to thank all of those who helped create this opportunity. Particularly those in the international community who backed the search for peace and supported the centrality of inclusive dialogue and negotiations, when such concepts were not popular.
“I want to especially thank the Irish diaspora around the world. Those Irish or of Irish descent who make up Irish America, or live in Canada and Australia and elsewhere who have played a pivotal role in the development of the peace process.
“There are many such far sighted people from all walks of life. From the corporate world, NGOs, the Labour movement, the Arts and literary world as well as political representatives. Too many to name. But I think of leaders like Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London who was vilified in the British and Irish media for daring to speak away back in the early 1980s to Sinn Féin and Tony Benn and Jeremy Corbyn and many others in London.
“And then there are a whole host of others like President Clinton; Senator George Mitchell; former South African President Nelson Mandela, the current South African President Thabo Mbeki; President Fidel Castro; Cyril Ramaphosa; Martti Ahtisaari; Senators Kennedy and Dodds, and Congress members like Jim Walsh and Richie Neal and Peter King. And many, many more.
“I want to say a very public and heartfelt go raibh maith agaibh – thank you – to all of them. We are where we are because of their trust and confidence in us. They never gave up – even when things looked bad.
“Our responsibility to the people of Ireland and to all of our international friends and comrades is to commit ourselves to never give up, and to keep pushing this process forward to the day when we achieve Irish freedom and a free united Ireland.”
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