Minister prepares Progress Report for Taoiseach on NI Political Talks25 November 2014
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan T.D. and Minister of State Seán Sherlock T.D. are in Belfast this afternoon for Northern Ireland political talks in advance of the progress report to be made to the Taoiseach and the British Prime Minister later this week.
At the outset of the talks on 16 October last, it was agreed that Minister Flanagan and Secretary of State Villiers would report to Taoiseach and Prime Minister respectively by 28 November.
Speaking this morning, Minister Flanagan said:
“Everyone is agreed that the talks should conclude before the Christmas period. Whilst over the past six weeks, substantial progress has been made across a range of areas, there is very significant work yet to be done. Following today’s round of talks, the Secretary of State and I will finalise our assessment of the progress which has been made to date and report to the Prime Minister and the Taoiseach respectively.”
Minister Sherlock added:
“We are now in the seventh week of the talks process. Productive discussions have taken place between the two Governments and the parties and encouraging progress has been made. However a considerable collective effort will be required if an overall agreement is to be reached before Christmas. I am liaising closely with the Tánaiste on the process on a regular basis, especially given the firm priority on Northern Ireland in the Statement of Priorities by the Coalition in the summer.”
26 November 2014