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Sinn Féin Hold Positive First Meeting With EU Parliament President

19 October, 2005

Sinn Féin MEPs Bairbre de Brún and Mary Lou McDonald this afternoon met with the President of the European Parliament Josep Borrell in Brussels. This was the first meeting between Sinn Féin and the European parliament President and follows on from last week's visit to Brussels by Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams.

Speaking after the meeting Sinn Féin National Chairperson Mary Lou McDonald MEP said:

" Since the recent historic initiatives by the IRA Sinn Féin have sought to galvanise international opinion behind a sustained effort to seize the opportunity presented and see the Good Friday Agreement implemented and the political institutions re-established.

" Martin McGuinness has carried out an extensive series of engagements in the US and Canada and Gerry Adams is currently in South Africa carrying out a similar programme of events. Today's meeting between ourselves and the President of the European Parliament is the first such engagement and it offered us an opportunity to impress upon Mr Borrell the important role which Europe still has to play in consolidating and advancing the Irish peace process.

"One very practical way in which EU support for the process can be demonstrated is through a PEACE III programme covering the period 2007 -2013 being brought forward. Securing the extension of this crucial funding remains a priority for Sinn Féin in the time ahead.

"Today's meeting was positive and constructive and underlines a long standing commitment to the peace process by the European Parliament and institutions. We look forward to this support continuing in the time ahead as we seek to breath much needed momentum back into the political process with the clear objective of seeing a speedy re-establishment of the power sharing and all-Ireland institutions." ENDS

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