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SINN FEIN LEADER DENIES SOFTENING OPPOSITION TO DISARMAMENT PANEL

SHARE SINN FEIN LEADER DENIES SOFTENING OPPOSITION TO DISARMAMENT PANEL

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams denied Monday that he had softened his opposition to an international panel to break a deadlock on the disarming of Irish Republican Army guerrillas.

Adams, head of the IRA's political wing, said on departure for a visit to the United States that a New York Times report suggesting that he was now willing to study proposals was "totally inaccurate."He said British Prime Minister John Major and Northern Ireland Secretary Sir Patrick Mayhew had made a proposed commission redundant by insisting that the IRA agree to give up its arms as a precondition for joining peace talks.

"I made it quite clear that the commission idea had been scup-pered by the British government, by John Major and by Patrick Mayhew some weeks ago when they insisted it was really a collection agency for their demand of an IRA surrender of arms."

Adams is under pressure to ease his rejection of calls that the IRA start handing over plastic explosive and automatic weapons to nudge the peace process forward.