N Ireland leaders in fresh talks to defuse devolution crisis

Last Updated: Monday, January 25, 2010 - 10:17

London: Northern Ireland`s feuding leaders meet on Monday in a bid to defuse a growing political crisis that is threatening the British province`s power-sharing administration, media reported.
Martin McGuinness, Northern Irish Deputy First Minister, will hold talks with First Minister Peter Robinson to end a bitter devolution row, the Press Association news agency said, without citing a source.

Renewed discussions to break the impasse on policing and justice powers come after negotiations between McGuinness`s Sinn Fein party and their power-sharing partners broke down last week.

Sinn Fein, which is Catholic and wants a united Ireland, shares power with Robinson`s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) -- a pro-British, Protestant group.

Efforts are intensifying to halt a feared collapse of the troubled province`s administration, with Sinn Fein confirming McGuinness had talked to both the British and Irish Prime Ministers about the issue yesterday.

It also emerged that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will meet in London with his Irish counterpart Brian Cowen to discuss the crisis today.

The Irish leader`s visit comes just 11 days after his last talks with Brown in the British capital. A British government spokesman said the talks were "part of the ongoing discussions on Northern Ireland."


First Published: Monday, January 25, 2010 - 10:17
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