Prince Charles to meet Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams

Prince Charles to meet Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams
Prince Charles.

LONDON - Britain's Prince Charles will meet Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams in a historic first during a visit to Ireland on Tuesday, the republican party said in a statement.

"This was agreed to promote the process of resolving past injustices and promoting reconciliation and healing," the Sinn Fein statement read.

The meeting between the royal heir and the president of a party once considered the political wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) would mark a milestone in warming relations between Ireland and Britain since a 1998 peace deal ended decades of conflict known as "The Troubles".

Sinn Fein, which campaigns for Northern Ireland to break with Britain and be part of a united Ireland, said both Adams and Northern Ireland Assembly Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness would accept invitations to meet the prince.

A former IRA guerrilla commander, McGuinness shook hands with Charles' mother Queen Elizabeth II in 2012 in a landmark Belfast meeting.

During his four-day trip with his wife Camilla, Charles is due to visit Mullaghmore in northwest Ireland for the first time.

The spot is near where his great-uncle Lord Mountbatten was killed along with three other people in 1979 by a bomb planted by IRA militants on his fishing boat.

Protests are expected during Prince Charles's visit, which also accompanied a ground-breaking trip by the Queen in 2011 -- the first by a British monarch since Ireland became independent a century ago.

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