Minister Flanagan to co-chair first Review meeting on implementation of Fresh Start Agreement13 January 2016
Minister Flanagan to co-chair first Review meeting on implementation of Fresh Start Agreement
Minister Flanagan will also hold first official meeting with new First Minister Arlene Foster
The Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, will today (Thursday) in Belfast co-chair, along with Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers MP, the first review meeting on the implementation of the Fresh Start Agreement.
Speaking in advance of the review meeting, Minister Flanagan said:
“Together with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, I am looking forward to co-chairing the first review meeting on the implementation of the Fresh Start Agreement. The meeting is an opportunity to review with the leaders of the parties in Northern Ireland the progress that has been made to date, including on work to end paramilitarism.”
Minister Flanagan added:
“It is important to maintain this momentum to ensure that this Agreement, which has brought stability and sustainability to the devolved power sharing institutions in Northern Ireland, is fully implemented for the benefit of everyone in Northern Ireland. The review meeting will also be an opportunity to take stock of the current situation with regard to taking forward the unresolved issues on dealing with the legacy of the past.”
While in Belfast, Minister Flanagan will also have a bilateral meeting Secretary of State Villiers and will hold his first official meeting with Arlene Foster in her new role as First Minister of Northern Ireland. He said:
“I have worked closely with Arlene Foster in her various ministries since my appointment as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade and I look forward to building on that positive relationship at today’s meetings.”
14 January 2016
Notes for Editors:
- A Fresh Start: ‘The Stormont Agreement and Implementation Plan’ or the Fresh Start Agreement was concluded on 17 November 2015 following 10 weeks of talks co-chaired by the Irish and British Governments and involving the political parties of the Northern Ireland Executive. The Agreement provides a roadmap for the implementation of many aspects of the Stormont House Agreement of 23 December 2014 and a plan for ending paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland. The Agreement provides for quarterly meetings, to be convened by the UK Government and Irish Government and involving the parties of the Northern Ireland Executive, to review implementation of the Stormont House and Fresh Start Agreements. The first of these meetings takes place on Thursday, 14 January.
- Arlene Foster MLA was elected as the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) on 17 December, 2015 and was appointed as First Minister of Northern Ireland on 11 January, 2016. This followed the decision by Peter Robinson to retire from front line politics.