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Ireland can learn from South African experience

18 October, 2005

On the first of a busy 4-day official visit to South Africa the Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams met with the South African Minister for Foreign Affairs Dlamini Zuma. Mr Adams thanked her for the government invitation and praised the South African contribution to the Irish Peace Process. He briefed the Foreign Minister on developments since the recent historic IRA initiatives.

The Sinn Fein leader, who was met at the airport by Ronnie Kasrils the Minister of Intelligence, had earlier laid a wreath in Freedom Park at the Isivavane, the symbolic resting place for of those who gave their lives in the struggle for a free South Africa.

Later Mr Adams met with National Executive members of the ANC and briefed them also.

Speaking after his day long series of meetings Mr Adams said:

"It is clear that there is a keen interest in the Irish Peace Process. The recent IRA initiatives have caught the imagination of people here.

"The big questions those I have spoken to today are when will the political institutions of the Good Friday Agreement going to be re-established and when will unionism begin to play its full part in the Peace Process.

The Sinn Fein President added:

"The South African experience is one which we in Ireland can learn much from. It is clear that things are much better for people in South Africa since the end of apartheid and the achievement of a democratic settlement. Ireland has the ability to replicate this success." ENDS

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