Saturday 17 August 2019

North deal must be done this week - Flanagan

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan
Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan
John Downing

John Downing

The North's political parties must deliver an agreement this week which will put the Belfast power-sharing administration back on track, said Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan.

Mr Flanagan flies to Brussels for a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers this morning to consider next moves following the weekend terrorist attacks in Paris. But he is due back in Belfast this afternoon for all-party talks aimed at agreeing a deal on spending reforms; a forum to deal with bereaved and injured people arising from the Troubles; and a definitive separation of para-militarism and politics.

The Foreign Affairs Minister yesterday spoke on the phone with Britain's Northern Ireland secretary Theresa Villiers, and said both governments shared the view that "a comprehensive agreement" must be made by the middle of this week.

"When we started this process in September we believed a deal must be done promptly. But we are now in week 10," Mr Flanagan told the Irish Independent.

He said they were looking to Martin McGuinness of Sinn Féin, and the Democratic Unionist Party to show leadership. He said both sides are capable of reaching a workable deal.

Irish Independent

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