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Ministers holding Dublin talks over Fresh Start Agreement implementation

Published 21/12/2015

Theresa Villiers is in Dublin to hold talks on the Fresh Start Agreement
Theresa Villiers is in Dublin to hold talks on the Fresh Start Agreement

British and Irish ministers are to meet in Dublin to discuss the implementation of the Fresh Start Agreement.

The Republic's Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan and Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers will also discuss unresolved legacy issues not included in the political deal struck at Stormont last month as well as the Dublin and Monaghan bombings.

Mr Flanagan said: " Following the successful conclusion of talks last month, we have begun to implement the provisions of the Fresh Start Agreement.

"Work has continued to progress the commitments on legacy in the Stormont House Agreement, with the needs of victims and survivors at the core of our focus in this regard.

"I am pleased to welcome Secretary of State Villiers to Dublin today and I look forward to discussing the options for our two governments in taking forward work on the legacy of the past in Northern Ireland.

"We will also discuss the Dail resolutions regarding the Dublin and Monaghan bombings."

After their bilateral meeting, the minister and the Secretary of State will join Frances Fitzgerald, minister for justice and equality, Northern Ireland's First and Deputy First Ministers Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness and the Northern Ireland Minister for Justice David Ford.

This trilateral meeting will focus on the elements of the Fresh Start Agreement dealing with cross-border organised crime including the establishment of a joint agency task force.

The Fresh Start Agreement ended a lengthy stalemate over issues including finance, paramilitarism and welfare reform that had pushed the region's coalition Executive to the brink of collapse.

It was finally signed by the DUP, Sinn Fein and British and Irish governments after 10 weeks of intensive negotiations.

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