Speaking in Stormont this evening Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams confirmed that progress had been made in recent discussions between his party the two governments and the DUP about resolving outstanding issues and that Martin McGuinness would be nominated tomorrow as Deputy First Minister. Mr Adams said:
"There has been speculation about Sinn Féin's attitude to the nominating process tomorrow. I am very pleased to say that I will be nominating Martin McGuinness as Deputy First Minister. I think he has demonstrated in the last year his exceptional ability to fulfill this role on behalf of all of the people.
"Ian Paisley concludes his term as First Minister tomorrow. I want to wish him, his wife Eileen and their family well.
"I think it is clear to everyone that this new dispensation has to be firmly rooted in equality for everyone.
"The Office of OFM/dFM is a joint and co-equal office. Those who are in that office can only fulfill their responsibilities if they are mindful of that fact.
"I wish Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness well along with other members of the Executive.
"Those of us who are privileged to be elected to the Assembly must be mindful that it has to deliver.
"The cost of living is spiraling, and there are widespread concerns around issues like crime and anti-community behaviour.
"We also know that there are many problems of disadvantage and poverty, in particular child poverty.
"The Executive has to deliver on these matters.
"The St. Andrews Agreement was the basis for restoring the political institutions.
"There are a number of outstanding issues from the St. Andrews Agreement to be implemented. These include the transfer of power on policing and justice and an Acht na Gaeilge.
"These issues must be resolved satisfactorily if we are to build on the undoubted progress that has been made in the course of the past 12 months.
"As you know in recent weeks Sinn Féin has been involved in discussions with the two governments and the DUP about these matters.
"I am pleased to say that progress has been made. Achieving a resolution of all of the outstanding issues is our continuing priority." ENDS