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Blair, Sinn Fein holding historic meetings

Prime Minister Tony Blair came to Northern Ireland Monday for talks with Sinn Fein negotiators, making him the first British leader in 76 years to meet members of the IRA-allied party.

The Ulster Unionist party, the largest pro-British Protestant party, protested that it was demeaning for Blair "to meet an unreconstructed terrorist," but said it would stay in Northern Ireland's peace talks, which include Sinn Fein.Blair planned separate afternoon meetings with Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams and leaders of seven other parties involved in negotiations on the political future of this British province.

Blair also was to meet the talks' American chairman, Sen. George Mitchell.

No cameras were to be allowed during the 10-minute encounters in offices at Stormont, headquarters of the British administration.