Prime Ministers announce review process plans

A review process to look at how to overcome the present impasse in Northern Ireland has been announced by the Prime Minister, Tony Blair and Irish Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern at a joint press conference in Downing Street.

Mr Blair said the review would also look at the way institutions worked saying they would be "short, sharp and focused".

"I think everybody in Northern Ireland wants to see devolved government back in the province," Mr Blair said. "The question is can we create the conditions in which that comes about.

"And it is our earnest desire and intention that it does come about and we will as ever do our very best, and work as hard as we possibly can to achieve it, and we'll be in a better position to tell you how likely it is we can be successful in that when we get the review process under way."

The Prime Minister confirmed that there would be a timetable to the review but added that that had not yet been set.

He also confirmed that he had met all the main local political parties and that it was "agreed it is important we try and find a way through" the current difficulties.


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