Sinn Féin calls for powersharing talks to resume next week

Sinn Féin has called for Stormont powersharing talks to start in a week's time.

In a letter to the Irish and UK governments and leaders of other political parties in Northern Ireland the party said negotiations should resume on Monday August 28.

Sinn Féin leader Michelle O'Neill said she did not believe there is a need or public appetite for drawn-out discussions.

"With limited engagement since the talks concluded on 4th July, I am keen to formally re-engage at the earliest opportunity in order to re-establish an Executive and powersharing institutions on a proper and sustainable footing," she said.

"Moreover, I do not believe there is much public appetite, or need, for another drawn-out phase of talks.

"In this context, and with an eagerness to resolve outstanding issues, I am also formally proposing that this round of talks be focused and time-limited."

Northern Ireland's two biggest parties, the Democratic Unionists and Sinn Fein, remain at loggerheads over a range of issues.

Sticking points include the shape of legislation to protect Irish language speakers, the DUP's opposition to lifting the region's ban on same-sex marriage, and mechanisms to deal with the legacy of the Troubles.

Talks between the parties were postponed for the summer after they failed to reach agreement.

The political rift between the parties has left the region without a first and deputy first minister since January and a functioning executive since March.

AP


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