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Sunday, January 18, 1998 Published at 18:32 GMT


White House 'passed British secrets to IRA'
image: [ Seitz says the Clinton administration leaked British secrets ]
Seitz says the Clinton administration leaked British secrets

A former United States ambassador to London has accused the White House of leaking British intelligence to the IRA.

Ireland's former Prime Minister Albert Reynolds comments on Seitz's allegations (2' 26")
Raymond Seitz said that he has become increasingly alarmed at what he described as the Clinton administration's soft attitude to Sinn Fein.

He said that the British Government stopped passing intelligence to the Americans because it often seemed to end up in the hands of the IRA.

[ image: Ray Seitz: regards Clinton's policy as
Ray Seitz: regards Clinton's policy as "naive"
His allegations come in extracts from his memoirs which has been published in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper.

Mr Seitz was ambassador between 1991 and 1994 and still lives in London. He was appointed by the Republican president George Bush and confirmed in his post by Bill Clinton's Democratic administration.

Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness: we received "no" intelligence from the White House (1' 01")
In his memoirs he looked at the 1994 crisis in Anglo-American relations when President Clinton decided to grant a visa to the Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams.

The visa was approved despite Mr Adams's refusal to renounce IRA violence.

At the time, the former Prime Minister John Major made his anger at the initiative very clear.

[ image: Ken Maginnis: government must proceed carefully]
Ken Maginnis: government must proceed carefully
Ulster Unionists have warned that urgent lessons must now be learned to prevent any possible further leaks.

The Ulster Unionist security spokesman, Ken Maginnis, said that he had long been aware of the danger of key information being leaked to the IRA and that action now had to be taken.

"Tony Blair and some of our attaches in the British embassy in Washington need to constantly remind themelves that the White House is not leak proof," he said.

"There is a constant presence of IRA people in the United States being wined and dined and led by the hand."

Although the peace process has moved on, the former ambassador's comments may still prove embarrassing to the White House at a delicate point in the Northern Ireland talks.

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