Creating people's geographies
Agence France Presse | 3 September 2006
Gerry Adams, the head of Northern Ireland’s largest Catholic political party, is to go on a three-day “peace mission” to the Middle East next week, Sinn Fein have announced.
The president of the political wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) is hoping to share with Palestinian leaders his experience of the Northern Ireland peace process that has led the paramilitary group to renounce violence.
Adams is scheduled to meet Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas as well members of the Palestinian administration who belong to Hamas, the hardline group that won a shock victory at this year’s elections in January.
Sinn Fein members had asked for Adams to meet the Israeli government but it was rejected because of the talks with members of Hamas, which does not recognise the Jewish state.
Hamas is officially considered by the United States and the European Union as a terrorist organisation.
In a statement Adams said: “Genuine negotiation and dialogue are imperative. While no two conflicts are identical there are key conflict resolution principles which can be applied in any situation.
“These include inclusive dialogue, respect for electoral mandates and respect for human rights and international law.”
Sinn Fein leaders have already shared their experiences of the Irish peace process “with those seeking peaceful alternatives to conflict both in the Basque country and Sri Lanka”, he added.
The delegation is expected to arrive in Tel Aviv on Tuesday before heading to Jerusalem the following day for a conference at the American Colony hotel.