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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 October 2006, 17:12 GMT 18:12 UK
SF to consult on St Andrews talks
Stormont
The Northern Ireland Assembly could be up and running by March 2007
Sinn Fein will engage in a consultation process with its members on the proposals contained in the St Andrews Agreement, Gerry Adams has said.

The Sinn Fein president was speaking in Dublin after attending a meeting of the party's national executive.

Mr Adams gave no indication of how long the consultation process would take. He also did not reveal when SF would call a special ard fheis on policing.

The executive is expected to respond to the government by 10 November.

Mr Adams said: "Sinn Fein remains firmly focused on bringing about a situation where Martin McGuinness and Ian Paisley would be equal partners at the head of a power sharing government in the north."

He added: "There was a consensus at the meeting that work needed to continue to resolve outstanding issues which continue to block progress towards creating a policing service which is democratically accountable and free from the sort of political control which has blighted policing in the north for generations."

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

Mr Paisley and Mr McGuinness are due to become shadow first and deputy first ministers on 24 November.

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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