US denies refusing Adams visa


THE White House has denied a report that President Clinton had refused to renew the US visa of the Sinn Fein leader, Mr Gerry Adams, until the IRA resumes the ceasefire. "The story is not true," a spokesman said.

The Sunday Telegraph had reported that Mr Clinton wanted to protest against the resumption of the IRA bombing campaign in Britain.

Mr Adams has to renew his US visa every three months. He applied last month so that he could attend St Patrick's Day celebrations in Washington.

Asked about the status of the application, the White House spokesman said the issue had not yet been confronted.

"Our focus is on getting the ceasefire re established and on trying to get the twin track process back on track. Questions relating to St Patrick's Day are premature.

Mr Clinton first granted Mr Adams a visa to visit the US in 1994.