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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 March 2006, 16:21 GMT 17:21 UK
Ahern in NI political discussions
Bertie Ahern
Mr Ahern is meeting the parties in Dublin
The Irish premier is holding talks with several Northern Ireland political parties in Dublin.

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern is meeting Sinn Fein, the SDLP and the Alliance Party as part of efforts by both governments to restore power sharing.

Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness said his party would use the meeting to tell the taoiseach that the DUP must not be allowed to delay political progress.

"The DUP are standing in splendid isolation," he said.

"Everybody else is demanding the restoration of the institutions."

Speaking after the SDLP's meeting with Mr Ahern, leader Mark Durkan said his party has some concerns about the two government's proposals for restoring devolution.

Mr Durkan said his party wanted to encourage the direction the two governments were travelling in, but was concerned about the detail which, he said, fell short of the Good Friday Agreement.

Speaking after meeting the taoiseach, Alliance Party leader David Ford said it was important that the two governments stayed engaged and did not leave it to Northern Ireland's politicians.

"The key issue is that the two governments build on issues like a shared future and stop just managing division," Mr Ford said.

Assembly

Earlier this month, Mr Ahern told the BBC a Northern Ireland Assembly may operate for some months without an executive.

Mr Ahern said the aim was to have a fully functioning assembly with an executive as envisaged under the Good Friday Agreement.

However, he said a deadlock over the formation of that executive should not stop the assembly from operating while there is work for it to do.

Devolved government at Stormont was suspended in October 2002 following allegations of a republican spy ring at the Northern Ireland Office.

However, doubt was cast on that after a senior Sinn Fein official acquitted of involvement said he had been a British agent for 20 years and that there was no spy ring.




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