Gerry Adams says Middle East conflict parties must enter dialogue
The warring parties in the Middle East can
learn from the peace process in Northern Ireland by ending violence through
dialogue, leading nationalist politician Gerry Adams said Monday, dpa reported.
Adams, the president of Sinn Fein, a party traditionally linked to the formerly terrorist Irish Republican Army (IRA) paramilitary organization, said that forces opposed to dialogue had for a long time "perpetuated" the conflict in Northern Ireland.
Adams' party is known to have been in contact with Hamas and other radical groups in the Middle East in an effort to convey the lessons of the Northern Ireland peace process.
"We need to make clear that all hostilities, all armed actions in that region should cease," Adams told a group of anti-war protestors in Belfast about the current situation in Gaza.
"That shouldn't be a precondition to the effort to establish a peace settlement. Sinn Fein is arguing for direct dialogue," he said.
"Direct dialogue in the Middle East means the Israeli government recognizing the mandate that Hamas has and talking directly with them," he added.
Sinn Fein, which pleads for a united Ireland, was co-signatory to the Northern Ireland peace agreement of 1998, which followed decades of bloody civil strife between Catholics and Protestants in the province.
Since then, the IRA has disbanded and Sinn Fein is now playing a key part a major part in a power-sharing regional government in Belfast.