New Political Talks Process Confirmed

Prime Minister Theresa May and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar have announced that new talks, aimed at restoring devolved government in Northern Ireland, will get underway "as soon as possible" after the local elections next week, Thursday 02 May.

Secretary of State Karen Bradley and Irish Tánaiste Simon Coveney are set to hold a press conference in Belfast later today to outline the proposed approach.

The British-Irish Governmental Conference will meet during the process to consider East/West relations, security cooperation and political stability in Northern Ireland.

The region has been without devolved administration for over two years. The latest development comes after the two premiers attended the funeral of murdered journalist Lyra McKee in St. Anne's Cathedral, Belfast on Wednesday.
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In a joint statement, the Irish and British leaders said they witnessed the "clear will and determination of all of the people of these islands to reject violence and to support peace and a better future for everyone in Northern Ireland".

The statement continued: "We also heard the unmistakable message to all political leaders that people across Northern Ireland want to see a new momentum for political progress. We agree that what is now needed is actions and not just words from all of us who are in positions of leadership.

"We understand the complexity of the underlying concerns of all parties, and the need for renewed trust, mutual respect, generosity and new thinking to resolve the issues.

"As Prime Minister and Taoiseach, we are determined to work together to ensure this process comes to a successful conclusion."


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