Brokenshire stalls Stormont talks until after General Election

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By Michael McHugh, Press Association

Formal talks to restore Northern Ireland powersharing have been paused until after the General Election.

Progress has been made on developing a programme for devolved government and addressing the legacy of thousands of conflict killings and injuries, Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire said.

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

Mr Brokenshire's office said: "At round-table discussions today involving the UK Government, the parties capable of forming an Executive and the Irish Government, it was agreed that formal talks to establish an Executive will be paused until after the General Election."

He said a number of outstanding issues remained to be resolved following seven weeks of discussions after March's Assembly elections.

Mr Brokenshire added: "All the parties involved recognise it is vital devolved government, and all of the institutions established under the Belfast Agreement and its successors, resumes in Northern Ireland as soon as possible.

"Although formal round-table talks are paused until after the General Election, a range of bilateral discussions will continue, with a view to building on progress."

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