Gov't rushes to enact N. Ireland deal

The government rushed Tuesday to enact a landmark accord to restore power-sharing in Northern Ireland, a day after it was struck at historic talks between rival Prostestant and Catholic leaders.

Gov't rushes to enact N. Ireland deal

The government rushed Tuesday to enact a landmark accord torestore power-sharing in Northern Ireland,a day after it was struck at historic talks between rival Prostestant andCatholic leaders in Belfast.

Long-time arch foes Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams made history on Monday byholding their first-ever face-to-face meeting, clinching an accord only hoursahead of a midnight deadline set by London and Dublin.

Specifically they agreed to restore power-sharing on May 8, as demanded byDemocratic Unionist (DUP) chief Paisley, who wants more time to assess thecommitment of Adams's Sinn Fein party to policing in Northern Ireland.

The accord was welcomed above all by Blair, who has pushed for a Northern Irelanddeal before he leaves office within the next six months after a decade inpower.

The emergency British legislation was expected to securecross-party support in the parliament in London,and could be on the statute book potentially by the end of the day, expertssaid.

Paisley and Adams were figureheads of Northern Ireland's sectarian divideand bitter foes throughout the so-called "Troubles", which saw morethan 3,000 people killed over three decades.

Paisley is now likely to become theprovince's first minister, with Sinn Fein chief negotiator Martin McGuinness, aformer IRA commander, as his deputy.

The Northern Ireland Assembly was created by the landmark 1998 Good Fridaypeace agreement, which aimed to form a lasting settlement followingparamilitary ceasefires.

The assembly has been suspended since October 2002 when allegations surfacedof a republican spy-ring operating at the Belfast parliament buildings, andNorthern Ireland has been governed directly from London ever since.

Source:Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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