Statement by Minister Flanagan regarding the Northern Ireland Talks27/4/17
Commenting on the pause of the Stormont Talks Minister Flanagan said:
“Since the announcement of the general election in the UK, I have had various contacts with the parties in Northern Ireland as regards the merits of continuing these structured talks in the current electoral context. There was a widespread view that given the demands and constraints of the election campaign, the best course would be to pause the current talks until after the general election takes place on 8 June. I understand that perspective was confirmed at today’s round table meeting in Stormont Castle, at which the Irish Government was represented.
“The legislation that has just been passed at Westminster extends the period in which an Executive can be formed until 29 June. There will therefore be a sufficient opportunity after June 8 for the talks to resume and for the parties, with the appropriate support and involvement of the two Governments, to re-engage on the urgent task of forming a new Executive and taking forward the implementation of outstanding commitments from previous Agreements.
“Since these talks began in early March, good work has been done collectively by the five parties and there has been encouraging movement across a range of areas, even if a number of key issues remain to be resolved. While the parties are understandably focused on their immediate electoral challenges, I believe there is a shared determination to renew their engagement on the key outstanding issues in these talks once the election has taken place.
“For our part, the Irish Government will continue, in cooperation with the British Government, to support and facilitate the parties in their efforts to reach agreement. I remain available to engage bilaterally with the parties in the weeks ahead, including on the unfolding Brexit negotiations, and look forward to participating in the resumed talks process after 8 June.”
27 April 2017