Adams meets US envoy on North


The US government does not support the suspension of the Northern Ireland assembly and executive, the Sinn Féin President, Gerry Adams, said yesterday after a meeting with US envoy to Northern Ireland, Mr Richard Haass.

Mr Adams said the US administration could speak for itself but he did not accept that it supported the British government's decision to suspend the institutions in the wake of an alleged Sinn Féin spy ring within the Northern Ireland government.

Mr Haass did not release a statement after his meeting with Mr Adams at the State Department headquarters in Washington DC. However, last month, both Mr Haass and US President Bush both publicly supported the British government's decision.

Mr Adams also said that Mr Haass was "very conscious" of the media perception that he had been confrontational to Mr Adams in previous meetings.

"It is not for me to speak for Mr Haass but he is very conscious that our meetings are depicted in that way, despite his best efforts to avoid that perception. It isn't that type of process, we are partners in this process," Mr Adams said.

Mr Adams was in Washington to meet Mr Haass ahead of a Sinn Féin fundraiser in New York today. He described the meeting as "useful" and that he had protested the British government's decision to suspend the institutions. He also said the two men had discussed policing and human rights and the need to implement all sections of the Good Friday Agreement.

Mr Adams said that Sinn Féin was willing to deal with the policing issue "for once and for all" but it was up to the British government to make it happen. Asked about the Ulster Unionist Party's decision to distribute Sinn Féin's anti-war press releases to key Washington policy makers, Mr Adams said he wasn't surprised.