Page last updated at 12:18 GMT, Sunday, 7 March 2010

Hillary Clinton calls Northern Ireland leaders on deal

Hillary Clinton on the telephone in 2008
Hillary Clinton has been calling Northern Ireland politicians

Hillary Clinton has been conducting telephone diplomacy with Northern Ireland politicians ahead of Tuesday's vote on the devolution of justice.

The United States Secretary of State spent 15 minutes talking with Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey, looking for an update on his party's position.

The UUP have said they will oppose the transfer of justice powers.

Ulster Unionist sources said Mrs Clinton did not try to strong-arm them into changing their position.

Ulster Unionists are to make a final decision on how they will vote on Monday night.

The UUP has been refusing to endorse the Hillsborough Agreement, insisting that matters such as education, parading and "the dysfunctional nature of the current Executive" must be addressed.

Mrs Clinton also spent 15 minutes talking to the Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

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