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Sinn Fein Says It's Committed to Negotiating

September 04, 1997| Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Predicting a united Ireland "in our lifetime," the leader of the IRA-allied Sinn Fein said Wednesday that his group is ready to compromise to achieve lasting peace.

"Our commitment to a negotiated settlement is forever," Gerry Adams said before meeting U.S. officials at the White House and on Capitol Hill. "It isn't a whim. It isn't temporary. It is forever."

But Northern Ireland's largest Protestant party--which hasn't decided whether to join Adams at the talks set to begin Tuesday--remains wary of Sinn Fein, which has ties to the Irish Republican Army.

"They don't compromise," said Anne Smith, a spokeswoman of the pro-British Ulster Unionist Party.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair offered Sinn Fein a seat at the talks after his government determined an IRA cease-fire was "unequivocal."

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