A new round of talks began today at Stormont House with the five main political parties in Northern Ireland, together with the Irish Government. The talks addressed the two main sources of current political instability: the issues arising from continued paramilitary activity and the full and faithful implementation of the Stormont House Agreement. Those present also discussed some of the practical aspects of the talks process. Intensive discussions will continue tomorrow and over the coming weeks.
Secretary of State Theresa Villiers, said:
The tone of today’s opening meeting was genuinely constructive. All participants acknowledged that it was vital to resolve the issues on the agenda. The institutions are at risk if this process fails. Northern Ireland’s political leaders have achieved great things working together in the past. I hope this process will deliver real progress on implementing the Stormont House Agreement and dealing with issues around paramilitaries, to help build a brighter more secure future for Northern Ireland.