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Sinn Féin describe talks at Downing Street as positive

6 October, 2005

Sinn Féin's Gerry Adams and Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness led a party delegation to meet with the British Prime Minister Tony Blair and British Secretary of State Peter Hain.

Speaking afterwards Mr Adams described the meeting as 'good and positive'.

The Sinn Féin President said:

"Today's meeting was a crucially important one, which provided an opportunity to review recent developments and to discuss how progress can be made.

"The main focus of our discussion was on the political institutions and the need for them to be re-established speedily.

"Key to making progress is the British Government honouring its commitments on policing, demilitarisation, OTR's and the right of citizens to live free from sectarian harassment. We also presented the British Prime Minister with an equality document recently produced by the party. Our discussions also focussed on the widespread sectarian attacks against Catholics by unionist paramilitaries and killings by those organisations. We pointed to the fact that the DUP has no difficulty sitting on commissions with members of those unionist paramilitary organisations.

The Sinn Féin President also raised the issue of PEACE III funding for the north and border counties with Mr Blair and Mr Hain.

Mr Adams said:

"We were assured by the British Prime Minister that it will move to ensure that the application for PEACE III funding is processed quickly. This is good news for the many peace and reconciliation projects which are dependant on EU funding. Yesterday in Brussels, there was obvious concern that the hundreds of millions of euro potentially available for these projects might be lost if the British Government did not apply for it. We will be returning to this matter with the British Government in the time ahead, and both governments should be pressing this issue with the EU in the time ahead." ENDS

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