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Last Updated: Friday, 10 November 2006, 16:10 GMT
Governments proceed with NI plan
St Andrews Agreement
The governments are to proceed with the agreement
The British and Irish governments have said they will now proceed "to ensure the full implementation of the St Andrews Agreement".

The parties were given until 10 November to respond to the proposals to restore Northern Ireland devolution.

The DUP issued a resolution neither backing nor rejecting the plan, while Sinn Fein gave it qualified support.

The governments said they were satisfied the agreement was the basis for a political settlement.

The British government will now bring forward legislation "to give effect to the agreement".

In a joint statement NI Secretary Peter Hain and Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern said: "There is much to be done and there is a responsibility on all to play their part.

"We will work actively with the parties to complete this task and clear the way for a new era for the people of Northern Ireland."

Ian Paisley
Ian Paisley called for Sinn Fein to back policing

DUP leader Ian Paisley said Sinn Fein had to "embrace solely democratic and peaceful" politics before his party would commit to power-sharing.

"In New York Gerry Adams tried to justify Sinn Fein's refusal to endorse the rule of law but there is no justification for this position," he said.

"The foundation-stone of any democratic party is that they support the police, the courts and the rule of law.

"Sinn Fein must stand four-square behind the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the justice system of the province."

In a statement on Thursday, the DUP said a refusal by Sinn Fein to even begin to give support to the PSNI, the courts and the rule of law, had "clear adverse implications for the timetable laid out in the St Andrews Agreement".

It said it recognised that other aspects of the British and Irish governments' proposals for achieving devolution "required more work".

Qualified

The statement fell short of an outright endorsement of the two prime ministers' plan for reviving power sharing.

Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness said he believed any outstanding difficulties between the parties could be overcome.

"On 24 November the assembly must meet as set out at St Andrews for the nominations of the first and deputy first minister as joint and co-equal partners in a new power-sharing government," he said.

"It is important that momentum is injected into this process and that a political vacuum is not allowed to develop."

On Monday, Sinn Fein gave its qualified support to the St Andrews road map.

Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams said more work needs to be done

However, in a speech to a Friends of Sinn Fein dinner in New York on Thursday, Gerry Adams told Irish-American supporters there was still more work to be done.

UUP leader Sir Reg Empey said the DUP statement was "a fudge, and is confirmation that they botched the negotiations in Scotland".

SDLP leader Mark Durkan said Northern Ireland's political parties must now push forward with power-sharing.

The British and Irish prime ministers have set 26 March as the deadline for the return of a power sharing government at Stormont.

The St Andrews Agreement 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.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Gareth Gordon reports from the DUP meeting



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