Monday 23 April 2018

Flanagan: North's leaders are 'up for talks' to resolve political crisis

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan
Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

The North's political parties have expressed "hurt and frustration" over the Stormont crisis but are "up for talks" in a bid to avert a collapse in power-sharing, according to Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan.

Mr Flanagan said it is vital that all parties maintain a "respectful dialogue" so as to guarantee peace and political stability on both sides of the border.

"Our citizens expect nothing less," he said.

The Fine Gael minister made the remarks at yesterday's British Irish Association's annual conference in Cambridge.

The North's political leaders are due to meet this week in a bid to resolve the crisis stemming from the re-emergence of the Provisional IRA.

"I have spoken in recent days to the leadership of the Executive parties. I have heard very clearly the hurt and frustration that they feel - all of them," said Mr Flanagan.

"But underneath that, I have discerned a deep and steely resolve to save the power-sharing institutions.

"Every party is up for talks because - whether they are articulating it or not - every party knows what is at stake: the survival of the power-sharing institutions themselves," he added.

The Laois/Offaly TD added that any collapse would be viewed as a "set-back" by citizens both North and South.

He called on the party leaders to show resolve.

"And I know that my fellow politicians in Northern Ireland have invested too much in this project of transformation to allow it to fail. And so, it is incumbent on all of us to go forward in a spirit of positivity, knowing compromises and courage will be required from all participants."

Irish Independent

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