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Irish Republican Adams Meets With U.S. Officials

October 05, 1994| From Reuters

WASHINGTON — Irish republican leader Gerry Adams held his first meeting Tuesday with U.S. officials since President Clinton lifted a 20-year ban on contacts with Adams' Sinn Fein party.

"You have been witness to a historic new era, a new relationship between Sinn Fein and the U.S. Administration," Adams, the leader of the political wing of the Irish Republican Army, told reporters after the 90-minute meeting at the State Department.

Adams held talks with John Kornblum, assistant secretary of state for European affairs; Leon Furth, Vice President Al Gore's national security adviser, and Nancy Soderberg of the National Security Council.

He called it a "very positive meeting. . . . We dealt in a very positive way with all of the core issues.

"Not only did we discuss the broad constitutional, political and other matters which require to be moved upon, we also discussed issues like investment, the need for parity of esteem and equality of opportunity," Adams said.

Clinton authorized the meeting Monday as a result of what the White House called the IRA's historic decision Aug. 31 to declare a cease-fire in its 25-year guerrilla war against British rule in Northern Ireland.

The President has had to balance several divergent goals, including pushing ahead the Northern Ireland peace process.

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