British, Irish PMs Hopeful of Northern Ireland Breakthrough After Visit


The British and Irish prime ministers held talks with Northern Ireland's feuding political parties on Monday and said later they were hopeful the province's year-old political stalemate would soon end.

The British province has been without a devolved executive for over a year since Irish nationalists Sinn Fein withdrew from a power-sharing government with their arch-rivals, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

Failure to reach a deal would be likely to lead to the introduction of direct rule of the region from London for the first time in a decade and a diplomatic dispute over what role the Irish government should then have in the region.

It would further destabilize a delicate balance between Irish nationalists and unionists who, until last year, had run the province since 2007 under the terms of the 1998 Good Friday peace accord which ended three decades of violence.

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The New York Times