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Last Updated: Monday, 7 November 2005, 21:24 GMT
Funding row halts Adams US visit
Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams said the fund-raiser would go ahead without him
The US government has been engaging in an "amateurish attempt" to change Sinn Fein's stance on policing, party leader Gerry Adams has said.

Mr Adams said he had been offered a visa restricting his ability to attend the party's annual Friends of Sinn Fein fund-raising dinner in New York.

He will not go ahead with a planned trip to the US but will attend a similar event in Canada next weekend.

Mr Adams said his party's position on policing remained "straightforward".

"If and when the British government honours commitments which it has made and which are in the public arena, I will honour commitments that I have made," he said.

"We want to be part of a policing dispensation, but the British government has a bit of work to do before that can happen."

Mr Adams said it was "absurd" that he was being prevented from attending the fund-raising event, which would proceed without him.

'Tough stance'

DUP assembly member Ian Paisley Jr said the US administration had made a "welcome and sensible decision".

"I would encourage them to continue to adopt a tough stance in their dealings with Sinn Fein/IRA and to ensure that Gerry Adams and his cohorts are unable to raise funds in the United States," he added.

Ulster Unionist MLA David McNarry said: "The United States are obviously taking the issue of policing extremely seriously, a lot more seriously than Sinn Fein are, and that message (has to) be got through to republicans."

Sinn Fein has insisted the US administration should recognise the reported completion of IRA decommissioning and its July statement announcing an end to its armed campaign.

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