US Government urges return to powersharing

White House. Photo by Zach Rudisin. Wikimedia.
White House. Photo by Zach Rudisin. Wikimedia.

The US administration has urged politicians in Northern Ireland to restore a powersharing government soon after talks resume in June.

The people deserve a representative, effective and responsive devolved Assembly, a US state department spokesman said.

Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire has announced a pause in negotiations for the UK General Election campaign.

The US state department said: “It is vital to build on the political and economic progress made since the Good Friday Agreement, as well as to build a better, shared future for the region’s citizens.”

The statement added: “We appreciate the UK and Irish governments’ ongoing engagement and continue to offer our strong support for peace, reconciliation, and prosperity in Northern Ireland.”

Seven weeks of talks led by the British and Irish governments have made progress on issues like dealing with the legacy of thousands of conflict murders and on developing a programme for government.

The DUP and Sinn Fein are in dispute over an Irish language act, although the unionist party has begun meeting non-political campaigners over a law.

June 29 is the latest deadline set by the British Government for formation of a ministerial Executive at Stormont.

Public services are being run by civil servants on a proportion of their true budget because there are no ministers to make decisions.

Teachers have warned of catastrophic job losses and the health service is also threatened.

Mr Brokenshire had been expected to step in and pass a budget at Westminster if the Stormont deadlock cannot be broken.