[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 6 November 2006, 19:24 GMT
SF decides to 'follow agreement'
Stormont
The Northern Ireland assembly has been suspended for four years
The Sinn Fein national executive has given its qualified support to the St Andrews proposals to restore devolution.

The decision followed a party meeting in Dublin.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams said that the agreement has the potential to move the process forward.

However, he said there were elements which needed further work, including a timeframe for the devolution of policing and justice powers.

Mr Adams said republicans wanted "democratic, accountable" policing but did not want to see any role for MI5 in what he called civic policing.

There is still no date for a special Sinn Fein conference on the policing issue.

Monday's executive meeting was briefed by MEP Mary Lou McDonald who along with MP Conor Murphy had been heading the consultation within Sinn Fein on the agreement.

Ms McDonald said the meeting had been called to discuss those consultations.

These "have taken place across Ireland over the last fortnight", she said.

"We need to ensure that progress is made on the basis of the Good Friday Agreement," she added.

"Events of the last two weeks show us how difficult all of this is going to be to achieve and how much work has still to be done."

'A new executive'

At the weekend, Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern said there was overwhelming support within the DUP for the implementation of the St Andrews Agreement.

"I understand the DUP consultation process is 90 plus for (the St Andrews Agreement)," he said.

Northern Ireland's parties have until 10 November to give their verdicts on the draft St Andrews Agreement.

Bertie Ahern
Mr Ahern believes the majority of DUP members support the St Andrews Agreement

The British and Irish governments have set a date of 26 March 2007 for a new executive to be up and running.

The chancellor, Gordon Brown, has promised 50bn to Northern Ireland over the next 10 years if power is devolved at Stormont.

The Northern Ireland Assembly was suspended on 14 October 2002 amid allegations of a republican spy ring at Stormont.

The court case that followed collapsed and one of those charged, Denis Donaldson, later admitted working as a British agent.

Direct rule from London was restored in October 2002 and has been in place since.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Watch a report on the political developments here



NI POLITICAL PROCESS

LATEST NEWS


ANALYSIS

BACKGROUND

KEY PEOPLE PROFILED
 
POLITICAL LINKS
 
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
IN-DEPTH REPORT

HAVE YOUR SAY


SEE ALSO
Academic selection 'is secured'
13 Oct 06 |  Northern Ireland



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific