Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams on Sunday outlined his IRA-allied party's "minimum requirements" in peace negotiations, but Protestant leaders dismissed them as unrealistic.
Sinn Fein can return to negotiations on the province's future Monday after serving a two-week suspension for two Belfast killings blamed on the Irish Republican Army.The IRA's adherence to a nearly 8-month-old truce is the key condition for Sinn Fein to participate. But since the party's expulsion, dissidents have bombed two predominantly Protestant towns in hopes of undermining Adams.
Adams conceded that the negotiations, which are supposed to end by May, would not achieve the IRA's goal of unifying the predominantly pro-British Protestant north with the overwhelming Catholic Irish Republic to the south.
"Indeed even if everyone was agreed on it, it is unlikely that we could achieve this objective by that date. Therefore, the logic is that the struggle for this entirely legitimate, desirable and democratic objective will continue beyond May," he said in a lengthy article for the newspaper Ireland on Sunday.
Adams criticized the Irish government's close cooperation with the British government in overseeing the talks as "an unequal partnership."