25 May 2006

Ahern and Blair to oversee fresh round of North talks


25/05/2006 - 11:31:16

The Irish and British governments are planning to oversee a fresh round of peace talks with the Northern parties in the coming weeks.

The move was announced today by Northern Secretary Peter Hain as he unveiled details of the Stormont Assembly committee he is establishing to discuss the restoration of devolution.

Mr Hain said the first meeting of the committee would take place on June 6th and would focus on preparing for a fresh round of "intensive" negotiations led by the Taoiseach and British Prime Minister.

He said he hoped the committee would act productively to lay the groundwork for those talks.

However, it remains unclear whether the main parties in the North will participate.

The DUP is refusing to sit on the committee if it amounts to negotiating with republicans, while Sinn Féin is refusing to take part if the body is only a talking shop.

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