Statement by Minister Coveney on Northern Ireland Talks
Press release03 July 2017
After accompanying the Finnish Foreign Minister to County Monaghan this morning, so that he could see at first hand the challenges of Brexit for the island of Ireland, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney TD, travelled to Belfast this afternoon to re-join the political talks in Stormont Castle.
Speaking this evening, the Minister said:
“The Northern Ireland Secretary of State’s statement in Westminster this afternoon underlines that time is short to secure agreement on the formation of a power-sharing Executive and on the implementation of outstanding commitments from previous agreements.
The Stormont talks are ongoing and the parties continue to engage. The next 24 hours will be vital if progress is to be made before advent of the summer holiday period. The key issues to be resolved will be no easier in the autumn than they are now. Indeed, with the passage of time, they may become more intractable as the hiatus in governance increasingly impacts on the welfare of citizens.
I would therefore encourage the two main parties to stretch themselves to find mutual accommodation and to reach a fair and balanced agreement. Reaching such an agreement would allow the institutions of the Good Friday Agreement to resume full operation. That is demonstrably in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland, and a prize certainly worth stretching for.”
03 July 2017