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Statement by Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Mr Simon Coveney TD on Stormont talks

“After the last three days of intensive negotiation, I am encouraged that there continues to be real engagement between the parties.

“Significant progress has been made - although there are still gaps to be bridged on a number of key issues.

“Like the Secretary of State, I believe that an agreement is still within reach – an agreement that would allow a power-sharing Executive to be formed on a sustainable basis.

“We continue to remain focussed on reaching that agreement and so talks are continuing. It is the successful outcome of this process that matters.

“All parties are committed to the successful operation of all of the institutions of the Good Friday Agreement and everyone is convinced that devolution is the best way to deliver for all of the people of Northern Ireland.

“With courage and goodwill this can be achieved and everyone here will now continue to focus on delivering that positive outcome”.