Belfast Telegraph

Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney: Statement in full on new talks process

Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney along with Secretary of State Karen Bradley announced a fresh round of talks due to start next week aimed at breaking the political deadlock at Stormont. Here is his statement in full:

As co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement, the British and Irish Governments have a responsibility to ensure the effective functioning of its institutions.

In this spirit, we have been working together since the Assembly election in March 2017 to support discussions between the parties on the formation of a new Executive and on implementing outstanding issues from previous agreements.

While significant progress has been achieved in these discussions in various formats, the necessary level of agreement between the parties that would allow them to form a new Executive has not yet been reached.

Northern Ireland has now been without a functioning devolved government for more than a year. This is not a position that can be sustained for much longer.

We all have a responsibility over the coming weeks to make every possible effort to secure the effective operation of the devolved power-sharing institutions.

On the basis of the discussions over recent months, I continue to believe that an agreement to form a new Executive can be achieved.

Karen and I will spare no effort in seeking a return to devolved power-sharing government in Northern Ireland, which is at the heart of the Good Friday Agreement.

Both Governments will work in partnership to achieve this and I look forward to being back here in Belfast next Wednesday for bilateral engagement with all the parties.

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