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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 October 2006, 05:15 GMT 06:15 UK
Governments in 'St Andrews talks'
Dermot Ahern
Mr Ahern will meet Mr Hain in Dublin
Secretary of State Peter Hain is to meet the Irish Minister of Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern in Dublin later.

They are likely to discuss the implementation of the St Andrews Agreement.

They will also focus on resolving the row over a ministerial pledge of support for the police.

Disagreements over the pledge led to the postponement of a meeting between DUP leader Ian Paisley and Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams last week.

Meanwhile, Mr Adams is to address a party conference on all-Ireland integration.

The party said it would be the first large republican meeting since its internal consultation into the two governments' St Andrews proposals began.

'Not ready to vote'

On Monday, the secretary of state said he remained cautiously optimistic that problems surrounding the St Andrews Agreement could be resolved.

Speaking in Belfast, Peter Hain said he was not worried about the current Northern Ireland political situation.

He said the row over the DUP insistence that Sinn Fein pledge support for the PSNI before electing first and deputy first ministers was a glitch.

Mr Hain said anyone who wanted to turn a glitch into a crisis had the ability to make that happen, but he did not believe it would happen.

Peter Hain
Peter Hain said he remained optimistic

The DUP wants a pledge of support for policing in place before DUP leader Ian Paisley and Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness can become shadow first and deputy first minister.

The St Andrews Agreement stated that before the government legislated on the pledge of office, "it will consider the outcome of further Preparation for Government Committee discussions on policing and the rule of law".

The Northern Ireland parties have been given until 10 November to respond to what the governments are calling the St Andrews Agreement.

It was published after intensive three-day talks between the parties at St Andrews in Scotland.

If all goes to plan, a first and deputy first minister will be nominated on 24 November and the devolved institutions will be up and running by 26 March.




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