partlycloudy
Sunday June 24th, 2018 8:48AM

UK, Irish leaders seek to break Northern Ireland stalemate

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

LONDON (AP) — The British and Irish prime ministers met political leaders in Belfast on Monday, as the two main parties in Northern Ireland edged closer to unlocking a political stalemate that has left the region of 1.8 million people without a government for more than a year.

British Prime Minister Theresa May and her Irish counterpart, Leo Varadkar, held talks with the main parties in Northern Ireland's collapsed power-sharing administration: the pro-British Democratic Unionist Party and the Irish nationalists of Sinn Fein.

"We're very hopeful that those two parties will be able to come to an agreement this week," Varadkar said.

May said she'd urged the politicians "to make one final push for the sake of the people of Northern Ireland."

"There is the basis of an agreement, and it should be possible to see an executive up and running in Northern Ireland very soon," she said.

Northern Ireland's Catholic-Protestant power-sharing government has been suspended since January 2017, when it broke down amid a scandal over a botched green-energy project. The rift soon widened to broader cultural and political issues, with Sinn Fein demands for Irish-language protections seen as the main sticking point.

After a day in which Sinn Fein and the DUP met the visiting leaders, but not each other, both said that progress had been made.

"Good progress has been made and we will continue to work towards more progress," said DUP leader Arlene Foster.

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald said "we believe we are close to an agreement," adding: "We are not exactly there just yet."

"This is now a decisive phase of the process," she said. "This is the week for decision time."

The two parties have blamed each other for the impasse that threatens power-sharing, the key achievement of Northern Ireland's 1998 peace accord that ended decades of bloodshed.

Several U.K.-government-set deadlines to restore the Northern Ireland administration have passed without success, raising the specter that the British government might impose direct rule from London on Northern Ireland.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP World News
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Dems say infrastructure plan burdens local gov't
President Donald Trump's infrastructure plan is receiving a frosty response from Democratic members of Congress
1:37PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Bar brawl? McConnell, Schumer at odds over the best bourbon
Add bourbon to the list of things Sens. Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer can't agree on
1:33PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Drag queen to star in Rio samba parade at Brazil Carnival
A drag queen is headlining the parade of one of Rio de Janeiro's most storied samba schools as Carnival celebrations across the country continue the tradition of ridiculing cultural icons and pushing social boundaries
1:27PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
UN refugee chief urges US, others to take in more refugees
U.N. refugee agency chief appeals to the United States and other nations to reverse course and take in more displaced people, including Syrians
12:57PM ( 45 minutes ago )
Turkey to rename US Embassy street after Syria offensive
Ankara's mayor has announced plans to rename a street where the U.S. Embassy is located after the Turkish military offensive in Syria that deepened tensions between the United States and Turkey
12:49PM ( 52 minutes ago )
Turkey assails US over ties with Syrian Kurdish militia
Turkey claims US forces in Syria intentionally stalling anti-IS fight so as not to cut ties with Syrian Kurdish militia
11:38AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP World News
The Latest: Dems say infrastructure plan burdens local gov't
President Donald Trump's infrastructure plan is receiving a frosty response from Democratic members of Congress
1:37PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Bar brawl? McConnell, Schumer at odds over the best bourbon
Add bourbon to the list of things Sens. Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer can't agree on
1:33PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Drag queen to star in Rio samba parade at Brazil Carnival
A drag queen is headlining the parade of one of Rio de Janeiro's most storied samba schools as Carnival celebrations across the country continue the tradition of ridiculing cultural icons and pushing social boundaries
1:27PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Formidable Juve defense faces stern test from Kane's Spurs
This is one opponent even Harry Kane might struggle to breach
1:27PM ( 15 minutes ago )
The Latest: Trump budget calls for repealing 'Obamacare'
The Trump administration's 2019 budget is renewing calls for repealing and replacing former President Barack Obama's health care law
1:25PM ( 16 minutes ago )