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'Make it Work' plea: Politicians urged to get past current stalemate

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The full-page Make it Work plea in today's Belfast Telegraph has been signed by respected figures from a cross-section of society in Northern Ireland, including the leaders of the four main churches

The full-page Make it Work plea in today's Belfast Telegraph has been signed by respected figures from a cross-section of society in Northern Ireland, including the leaders of the four main churches

The full-page Make it Work plea in today's Belfast Telegraph has been signed by respected figures from a cross-section of society in Northern Ireland, including the leaders of the four main churches

Church leaders, unions and business groups have said now is the time for politicians to grasp the new talks process as an "important opportunity" to resolve Northern Ireland's most contentious issues.

The full-page Make it Work plea in today's Belfast Telegraph has been signed by respected figures from a cross-section of society in Northern Ireland, including the leaders of the four main churches.

The signatories acknowledge that while major progress has already been made here, "there are still many challenges ahead" and urge those involved in the talks chaired by the Secretary of State to get past the current stalemate through compromise.

"Through agreement we firmly believe that these talks provide a critical opportunity to move forward together in the interests of our community, and to secure a better future for all," the signatories, who were also drawn from the voluntary sector, said.

"We accept that the range of outcomes will probably involve accommodations along the way."

After last year's failed Haass talks and the subsequent deterioration in political relationships at Stormont, Make It Work spokesman Peter McBride said the time has come for those engaged in power-sharing to redouble their efforts.

"This initiative is important, timely and pressingly urgent. Time is running out for us to make this place work, before our confidence, investment and tourism dries up again. Our people deserve forward-looking, efficient government," he said.

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