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Adams: End Threats To Irish Peace

January 12, 2000

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Emerging from a meeting with President Clinton, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams called on Protestant leaders Wednesday to stop threatening to withdraw from Northern Ireland’s governing coalition if the IRA doesn’t begin disarming by February.

``Deadlines, ultimatums, have not worked anywhere in the world in terms of trying to get peace processes to come to democratic conclusions,″ Adams said after a 40-minute session with Clinton, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and National Security Adviser Sandy Berger.

Adams said the White House meeting focused on issues of the Irish Republican Army’s weapons and the removal of British forces from Northern Ireland. Under the 1998 Good Friday Accord, the IRA has until May to disarm. But the Protestant leader of the administration, David Trimble, has said he will withdraw his Ulster Unionist Party from the coalition if the IRA hasn’t begun disarming by February.

``I look to David Trimble to be leaderly about all of these matters,″ Adams said. ``Let’s move forward empowered by the progress that has been made.″

National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer would say only that the officials had discussed ``all aspects of the implementation of the Good Friday Accord.″

There has been much speculation that Clinton will return to Northern Ireland once more before the end of his presidency. Hammer said the president remained willing to travel if he could help advance the peace process, but that no trip had been planned.

Adams said Clinton, as opposed to other unspecified players in the peace process, ``understood clearly and has had a strategic vision ... that how you make peace work is you bring about justice and you make politics work.″

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