Political figures have been giving their reaction to the news that a target date of 26 March 2007 has been set to get a new executive up and running in Northern Ireland.
TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME
I think we have a way forward. We have been through different parts of this process many times over the past few years, but I think this is a sound basis.
Tony Blair said he believed a way forward had been found
Of course, everyone has had to make compromises during the course of these
negotiations to get what they wanted, but nonetheless I think it is a proper and
sound basis for doing it.
It gives us a chance to have institutions that are up and running, that are
secure on a cross community basis where all parties are in government working
together for a shared future in Northern Ireland.
BERTIE AHERN, IRISH PRIME
Bertie Ahern said a fair balance had been reached
I believe we have all the elements that can bring satisfaction to all the issues.
If not perfect by everybody's agenda, it's a fair and sustainable balance to try by March to make sure we have a working executive based on power-sharing and an acceptance of policing and the rule of law and order.
IAN PAISLEY, DUP LEADER
Unionists can have confidence that its interests are being advanced
and democracy is finally winning the day.
Ian Paisley said Sinn Fein must support the PSNI
As we have been saying, it is deeds, not deadlines that count
There must be unequivocal support for the laws of the land
and those who enforce them.
GERRY ADAMS, SINN FEIN LEADER
Gerry Adams said the parties had a moral responsibility to reach a deal
I would ask (republicans) to get the documentation, to study it and debate it out.
Make their views known and be part of the effort to resolve these
Sometimes there's a lot of talk about delivery. Republicans have delivered
big time in recent times.
We have a moral responsibility to keep delivering, but it's a collective
SIR REG EMPEY, ULSTER UNIONIST LEADER
Sir Reg Empey said both parties had shifted their positions
There appears to have been shifts from both parties.
Sinn Fein will sign up to the PSNI being the only force of law and order and Ian Paisley or a colleague will share the joint office of first and deputy first minister with Martin McGuinness in a mandatory coalition.
This, I submit, is the Belfast Agreement for slow learners.
We have a lot of work to do in the assembly and we will go to that next week with enthusiasm to see the job finished.
MARK DURKAN, SDLP LEADER
Mark Durkan said politics in Northern Ireland could move forward
We believe that we can move from the politics of stand-off to lift-off.
It is on the basis of that approach that we need to work in the weeks ahead.
The progress we have had it is welcome. I welcome the DUP to the threshold of accepting power-sharing, I welcome Sinn Fein to the threshold of accepting the new beginning to policing.
We can move our politics from about the standards we raise on our flagpoles to being about the standards we raise in our schools, our hospitals and our public services.
DAVID FORD, ALLIANCE LEADER
David Ford said a major step forward had been taken
If we use these opportunities, today will prove to have been a major step forward on the road to restoring the institutions.
We now face not a leap into the unknown, but a series of steps. We will play our part in the Preparation for Government Committee and elsewhere to widen the sense of agreement.
Despite all that remains to be done, there is now at least a sense of hope for a shared future.