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DUP: Northern Ireland talks fail amid Irish language dispute

Europe
14.02.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
London (dpa) - Talks on restoring power-sharing in Northern Ireland have failed to make a breakthrough because of a dispute over the Irish language, the Democratic Unionist Party said on Wednesday.

DUP leader Arlene Foster said Irish Republic party Sinn Fein‘s demand for "a standalone or free-standing Irish language act means that we have reached an impasse."

"For almost four weeks, we have been engaged in intensive negotiations with Sinn Fein," Foster said in a statement.

"We have attempted to find a stable and sustainable basis for restoring devolution," she said. "Those discussions have been unsuccessful."

"In our view, there is no current prospect of these discussions leading to an executive being formed," Foster said.

She urged the British government to "set a budget and start making policy decisions about [Northern Ireland‘s] schools, hospitals and infrastructure."

The power-sharing impasse began in January 2017 with the resignation of late Sinn Fein politician Martin McGuinness as deputy first minister, and the party‘s refusal to nominate a successor.

The DUP and Sinn Fein have shared power under a peace process that began with the 1998 Good Friday Agreement following decades of sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland.

Failure to break the deadlock could lead to direct rule from London rule, although the British government sees this as a last resort.

 

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