Troubled peace process talks continue in North

The Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern will travel to the North this morning for talks jointly hosted by the two governments on pushing the peace process forward.

The British government is believed to be considering recalling the Assembly and giving it a firm deadline for reaching agreement on re-establishing a power-sharing executive.

The DUP has repeatedly said it cannot foresee a time when it will ever share power with Sinn Féin.

But Sinn Féin’s chief negotiator Martin McGuinness said it is time to end suspension and to begin to establish the institutions of the North.

Mr McGuinness said that Ian Paisley must also decide whether or not he wants to play a part in building a future for the North.

He conceded however that if Mr Paisley is not prepared to do that, the Assembly must be stopped and the two governments press on with decision-making instead.

DUP deputy leader Peter Robinsons said that it is not his party that is the roadblock to the process, but the devastating details of the latest Independent Monitoring Commission report on republican criminal activities.

He said that any new power-sharing executive must be "proofed and protected from republican paramilitarism".

He added that his party will not be rushed into power-sharing and proposed instead the recall of the Assembly with a consultative role in local decision-making.

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