US Congressional delegation in talks
US Congressional delegation in talks

A delegation of members of the US Congress has held high level meetings in Ireland amid growing tension over the talks process in the North.

Speaking after a meeting with Sinn Féin, New York Congressman Jim Walsh, who is chairman of the ‘Friends of Ireland’ Committee, said they had stressed in their meeting the importance of Sinn Féin supporting the PSNI.

“I don’t know their timing, but I believe it will happen,” said Mr Walsh.

Speaking after the meeting Mr Adams said it was “a constructive engagement”.

Members of the US Congress have a long record of supporting the Irish Peace Process, said Mr Adams.

“We impressed upon them our belief that the two governments have a significant responsibility to advance planned talks next month so that the power sharing institutions are restored as soon as possible. The only basis for moving forward is that set out in the Good Friday Agreement.”

Mr Adams said the United States had provided important support for the development of the Irish peace process and that his party “look forward to working in the future with all those US politicians and interest groups as we seek to inject momentum into the political process.”

The issue of undocumented Irish people living in the United States featured in talks between the Congressional delegation and Sinn Féin and separate talks earlier this week with Dublin’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern.

Mr Adams said his party’s delegation had also lobbied for their support in dealing with the issue “In our view the proposals from Senators Kennedy and McCain do that best.”

Representatives Jim Walsh, Tim Murphy and Brian Higgins also met the SDLP and UUP in Belfast today. They are due to meet DUP MPs in London tomorrow.

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© 2006 Irish Republican News