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SINN FEIN LEADER VISITS U.S., SAYS IRA WANTS PEACE

Bolstered by a buoyant welcome from Irish-Americans on his first weekend in the United States, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams is keeping his message plain: The IRA wants peace; now Britain must decide.

"All republicans want peace and all republicans want to encourage this process for peace, and it isn't in any danger or any risk from any republican element," Adams said."The danger which faces the peace process comes from the British government and its failure to grasp this opportunity."

Adams, president of the legal, political wing of the Irish Republican Army, is on a two-week U.S. tour. He was to visit Detroit Monday.

When he visits Washington, Adams is likely to ask the United States to pressure Britain to meet with Sinn Fein, which wants to join in negotiations on the future of the British province. The Clinton administration is weighing financial aid and other incentives to nurture peace prospects and improve the lot of Northern Ireland's people.

In January, the British government criticized the Clinton administration for granting Adams a special visa for a brief visit to New York. That visa, like his current one, required the United States to waive its ban on admitting those linked to terrorism.

After meeting with local politicians in largely Irish-American South Boston, Adams told The Boston Herald that the IRA wants to make permanent the cease-fire it declared Aug. 31.