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Urgent and meaningful talks needed to resolve political crisis – O’Neill

17 January, 2018 - by Michelle O'Neill

Speaking in advance of a meeting with British Secretary of State Karen Bradley MP tomorrow, Sinn Féin leader in the north Michelle O’Neill MLA said that urgent and meaningful talks are needed to resolve the political crisis and restore the political institutions on a sustainable basis.

Michelle O’Neill said:

“Party colleagues and I are meeting the new British Secretary of State Karen Bradley tomorrow at Stormont.

“This will be the third time I’ve spoken to her since she was recently appointed. I will again reassert our position that Sinn Féin stand ready to engage in talks, but only if they are meaningful and can reach a successful conclusion which sees the critical issues resolved. 

“There is no public or political credibility in endless talks which go nowhere.

“Sinn Féin want to see the restoration of power sharing institutions and new equal partnership government which delivers for all.

“That requires Karen Bradley and the British government to act with the rigorous impartiality demanded of them by the Good Friday Agreement as co-guarantors if we are to see any meaningful negotiations take place. She is not a neutral broker and has a duty to fulfil her political responsibilities. 

“Their partisan approach to date has been underscored by their pact with the DUP at Westminster which completely eradicated any remaining pretence of impartiality and serves to compound the difficulties which exist. 

“If any new talks to restore the Executive are to succeed, there must be a new approach from Karen Bradley’s government.

“The political will must also exist within the DUP which has not been evident to date.

“We believe that Agreement is possible and our leadership will play our full part to try reach a resolution. 

“Therefore we need a talks process which is about getting a positive outcome including the implementation of agreements and a new approach which delivers for everyone.” 

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