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Flanagan meets Secretary of State for Northern Ireland ahead of Belfast Talks

Speaking today from London after his meeting with Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Theresa Villiers MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, stated:

“The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and I had a useful and timely meeting ahead of the commencement of talks at Stormont House tomorrow afternoon.

"I am hopeful that the talks process will allow the parties in Northern Ireland to chart a positive path forward. I have no doubt that, with the necessary will and determination, agreement is possible and I urge all parties to engage fully and meaningfully, so that this critical opportunity is not squandered.

"I, together with Minister Sherlock, will spare no effort to protect the devolved institutions established by the Good Friday Agreement. I welcome the DUP's confirmation today that they will engage fully in the forthcoming talks process but I am disappointed at their decision not to attend North South Ministerial meetings.

"North South cooperation provides important public services to people in both jurisdictions and has real benefit for citizens across the island in areas such as tourism, trade, business development and creating employment. I look forward to talks commencing tomorrow."

Press Office
7 September 2015