Minister Flanagan urges Northern Ireland Executive Parties to secure a deal this week17/12/14
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, returns to Belfast this week for Political Talks.
Speaking from Belfast, Minister Flanagan said:
“This is the tenth week of political talks in Stormont involving the Northern Ireland Executive parties and the British and Irish Governments. Together with my colleague, Minister Seán Sherlock, I have been privileged to represent the Irish Government in these discussions which aim to secure a prosperous and peaceful future for all of the people of Northern Ireland.
“I have been hugely impressed by the degree of concern and commitment which each of the parties brings to the negotiating table. The sincerity and goodwill of each of the parties is evident and encouraging progress has been made on a variety of difficult, complex and sensitive issues.
“However, the current window of opportunity to close the gaps on the key outstanding issues and to reach an agreement is rapidly closing. Unless we secure resolution on these issues in the coming days, I fear that the prospects for agreement will be greatly diminished in the New Year.
"I travel to Belfast this week in the knowledge that substantial progress must be made. We are determined to do everything that we can to assist the parties to reach an overall agreement. We are confident that this sense of determination will be reciprocated by the parties”.
Minister Sherlock added:
“Our collective objective must be to reach an agreement that restores confidence in the efficacy of partnership politics, promotes economic renewal and advances the cause of reconciliation. The people of Northern Ireland and, indeed of this island, deserve no less.”
17 December 2014