Gerry Adams will hold talks in Washington next week in what will be his first visit to the US since his recent arrest by police investigating the 1972 murder of Jean McConville.

The Sinn Fein President, who has denied any involvement in the killing of the widowed Belfast mother-of-10, will brief political leaders in the US and at the State Department on his concerns about the peace process, which he said is "facing some turbulence."

Adams said the purpose of his 48-hour trip to the US, starting on May 28, was to highlight the problems in the peace process and "to chart a way through these dangers."

In a statement yesterday, the Co. Louth TD blamed the British government for failing to deal with outstanding issues of the Belfast Agreement.

He pinpointed London's refusal to back compromise proposals by former US diplomat, Richard Haass, to deal with so-called "legacy cases" arising from the conflict, which has claimed over 3,500 lives.

He said: "The peace process cannot be allowed to meander. The road has too many pitfalls. There are too many powerful elements on the fringes of nationalism, within unionism and the British system who want to derail the process and build obstacles to it."

But he said he hopes his upcoming visit to the US would spark "renewed focus and support" for the peace process and the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.

The Sinn Fein President's four-day detention earlier this month by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) in connection to the murder of Jean McConville 42 years ago attracted widespread coverage in the US.

The Irish Times reports that a number of leading US politicians - including Irish American congressmen Peter King (R-NY) and Richard Neal (D-MA) - questioned the timing of his arrest, as it took place just weeks before local and European elections.

The publication also points out that the US has been "fertile fundraising ground" for Sinn Fein. Friends of Sinn Fein, the party's US wing, has raised more than $10million over the past nine years from American donors.