World Bulletin / News Desk
Formal talks to form a new power-sharing government in Northern Ireland were paused until after June 8 general election, according to a U.K. government statement Thursday.
The statement by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire said all parties agreed on a pause over talks.
"At round-table discussions today involving the U.K. Government, the parties capable of forming an Executive and the Irish Government, it was agreed that formal talks to establish an Executive will be paused until after the General Election," the statement said.
Brokenshire last week had set May 29 as the previous deadline for a new Executive -- devolved government.
The previous administration in Northern Ireland collapsed with the resignation of its Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein over a botched energy saving deal called RHI in January.
Other issues about recognition of the Irish language and the legacy of violence from the 1968-1998 Troubles further soured relations between the pro-British Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and their Irish nationalist opponents, Sinn Fein.
The DUP lost support in the March 2 election but managed to remain the biggest party, with a single-seat margin in the Assembly over Sinn Fein.
"All the parties involved recognise it is vital devolved government, and all of the institutions established under the Belfast Agreement and its successors, resumes in Northern Ireland as soon as possible,” Brokenshire said.