Adams briefs US State department
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams will today meet David McKean, US Secretary of State John Kerry’s Director of Policy Planning at the State department in Washington.
Mr Adams is accompanied by Sinn Féin’s representative in the United States Rita O Hare.
The Sinn Féin leader is briefing the US Administration on the current difficulties in the peace process, including the efforts of Richard Hass to produce a report on flags, symbols and the past.
Speaking before the meeting Mr Adams said:
“From the Clinton Presidency through successive administrations the US government has played an important role in encouraging and supporting the peace process. The former US Special Envoy Richard Haass is involved in putting together a report on flags, symbols and the past.
“The peace process is currently facing significant difficulties. The Irish and British governments have failed to stand up to the campaign of violence by loyalists and to insist that the DUP leadership implement their commitments. Consequently the political institutions, undermined by the DUP failure to fully embrace power sharing and partnership government or equality, are the target of increasing criticism.
“The two governments are also in breach of their commitments under the Good Friday Agreement. There is no Bill of Rights for the north; or Charter of Rights for the island; there is no Acht na Gaeilge; there is no north-south consultative forum, and the British government has reneged on the commitment to hold an inquiry into the murder of human rights lawyer Pat Finucane.
“The issue of the past, and of truth and reconciliation has not made the progress it should have since the Good Friday Agreement was achieved.
“Recent weeks saw the anniversaries of the Shankill bomb, the Greysteel attack; the BBC/RTE documentary on the people killed and secretly buried by the IRA; and the publication of Anne Cadwallader’s Lethal Allies book which exposes the involvement of British state collusion in the murder of citizens in the 1970s. There are many more families who lost loved ones in other violent actions seeking truth.
“Sinn Féin has proposed an independent international based process to deal with the past including all these issues.
“However, the British government refuses to agree any mechanism that can deal with this issue and the Irish government and others have made no effort to establish a viable truth recovery process.
“This is not acceptable. The past cannot be an obstacle to dealing with the present or a pretext for refusing to build a new future of equality, fairness and prosperity for everyone.”