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Monday, April 27, 1998 Published at 14:27 GMT 15:27 UK

Sinn Fein calls for overall disarmament
image: [ The Sinn Fein leaders say they will be urging their party to back the Stormont agreement ]
The Sinn Fein leaders say they will be urging their party to back the Stormont agreement

The Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adams, has called for more progress in ridding Northern Ireland of all weapons.

The BBC's political correspondent Huw Edwards reports from Downing Street
He wants to see movement being made on reducing the army's presence in the province as well as disbanding the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

The Sinn Fein leader was speaking after a meeting with the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, which Mr Adams described as "positive and constructive".

Mr Adams and his chief negotiator in the peace talks, Martin McGuinness, were in Downing Street discussing republican worries surrounding the Northern Ireland peace settlement.

Gerry Adams: "Attempt to block progress"
They also brought up the subjects of Irish language schools, the recent killings of Catholics and the upcoming Orange marching season.

But Mr Adams says he will be pressing his party's ruling body to endorse the Stormont agreement when they discuss ratifying the deal next month.

At a press conference outside Number 10 Downing Street, Mr Adams said the issue of decommissioning IRA weapons was an attempt to block progress.

Gerry Adams: "Whole range of issues"
He said: "We don't expect the British Army to disarm tomorrow morning. We don't expect the loyalists to disarm.

"I don't see how anyone could expect the IRA to disarm.

"Our view is that all of the guns being taken out of the equation as part of an overall settlement should be the objective."

Mr Adams also repeated his belief that the Stormont deal "weakened" the union and was a step on the road to a united Ireland.

The Sinn Fein leaders also met the Northern Ireland Secretary, Mo Mowlam, briefly after their one-hour discussion with Mr Blair.

The prime minister's official spokesman said: "Sinn Fein raised a number of specific issues which the secretary of state undertook to look at.

"The prime minister restated his view that the agreement remains the best opportunity for decades for a peaceful future for the people of Northern Ireland, which is what the people of Northern Ireland want."

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