Minister for Foreign Affairs Urged To Set Timeframe For Talks On North

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan has been urged to outline a timeframe for the next phase of cross party negotiations involving the British and Irish Governments.

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan and Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs Brendan Smith made the call, after the British Secretary of State Theresa Villiers announced a new round of talks to resolve outstanding issues in Northern Ireland.

During Priority Oral Questions to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Deputy Smith raised the issue, saying: "While I welcome these moves to progress the stalemate in the North, the British and Irish Governments have, over the past three years, let the issue slip down the political agenda. As co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement, both Governments must take a central, leading role in the talks to drive them to a successful and early conclusion.

"Important and contentious issues must be resolved, specifically parades, flags and contending with the past. Following the collapse of the Haass talks at the end of last year, there has been no progress in these areas in the meantime.

"This fresh round of discussions is a welcome departure from the current impasse, but efforts must be made to ensure that momentum is maintained.

"Throughout these talks, urgency and energy must be attached to show the people of Northern Ireland and throughout the island that politics work and that it is about delivering for people. Dealing with these issues will allow the Executive, the Assembly and the two Governments to deal more and more with the bread and butter issues in which the people throughout the island want to see us engaged.

"I am urging Minister Flanagan, along with his counterpart Ms. Villiers to move swiftly on their plans. It is imperative that All-Party negotiations begin as soon as possible and I am calling on him to publish a full timescale for this programme of talks without delay."


Related Irish News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

05 September 2014
Flanagan Meets NI Secretary In London Talks
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charlie Flanagan is in London today for talks on Northern Ireland, as well as a series of engagements with representatives of the Irish community. The Minister met with NI Secretary Theresa Villiers to discuss current unresolved issues in Northern Ireland.
17 September 2013
Haass Talks Underway In NI
Dr Richard Haass, a former US diplomat, has begun the first round of talks in Northern Ireland aimed at resolving issues surrounding recent violence and protests in the north. December has been set as the deadline for the publication of reports following a series of talks on issues including parades, flags, and the past.
09 July 2009
SDLP Delegation Set For Southern Talks
As Stormont ministers prepare to lay the foundations for devolved policing and justice, a SDLP delegation is meeting the Irish Taoiseach to discuss the matter. Leader, Mark Durkan, (pictured) along with several other SDLP figures, will told talks with Brian Cowen in Dublin later.
09 February 2010
Justice Minister And Parading Talks Open
Northern political leaders will meet later this morning to discuss nominations for the position of Justice Minister. Nominations for the post officially opened yesterday, however a scheduled meeting between party leaders was postponed to allow the province's MPs to participate in a Commons discussion.
14 October 2009
Robinson 'Wants More' On North's Devolution
Stormont First Minister Peter Robinson has said that he is looking for further 'clarification' from Prime Minister Gordon Brown about funding for the devolution of responsibility for policing and justice. Sinn Féin have accepted the deal but the DUP wants to go further.