Adams finds US muted

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The Independent Online
Gerry Adams, the leader of Sinn Fein, arrived in the United States yesterday for his first visit since the breakdown of the IRA ceasefire last February, basking in the British Government's decision to invite Sinn Fein's representatives to join the all-party talks on the future of Northern Ireland.

Mr Adams is likely to find his reception in the United States unusually muted. The British Government's invitation, and Sinn Fein's agreement, to join the all-party talks last week has removed the appearance of exclusion that made Sinn Fein appear a victim even to non-sympathisers in the US. He will also find the American public and the television networks preoccupied with the death of Princess Diana and in a more pro-British mood than at almost any time in recent years.

Many of Mr Adams' official engagements in the US - two days in Washington and one in New York - are with republican sympathisers or the media. He is, however, expected to meet the National Security Adviser, Sandy Berger, who has been the main point of liaison between the US and British governments over Northern Ireland.