In advance of travelling to Belfast this morning for the opening of Talks with the Northern Ireland Executive parties, Minister Flanagan said:
“The Political Talks convened by the Irish and British Governments begin today. The opening meetings represent an important opportunity to address a number of key issues that have badly impacted on the reconciliation agenda and on economic renewal in Northern Ireland. Working with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, I look forward in the period ahead to constructively engaging with the leaders of the Northern Ireland Executive parties and to advancing progress on each of these key issues.
“Agreement can, of course, only be reached by the parties themselves. However, in our roles as co-guarantors of the Good Friday and St. Andrews Agreements, the two Governments have an important role to play in encouraging and facilitating such agreement. The Irish Government is fully committed to discharging an enabling and supportive role throughout the Talks.”
Minister Flanagan will be accompanied by Minister of State Seán Sherlock TD.