Renewed push for Stormont agreement as deadline looms

The parties have two weeks to reach a deal

Renewed push for Stormont agreement as deadline looms

The Parliament Buildings in Stormont, Belfast | Image:

Arlene Foster has returned to Northern Ireland after meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Yesterday, Mrs Foster described her discussion with Mrs May as 'very good', insisting she hopes to reach a conclusion sooner rather than later.

It comes as there are two weeks left for parties at Stormont to form a power sharing executive in Northern Ireland.

Talks aimed at getting the institutions back up and running are taking place in London on Thursday.

It was announced in April that the deadline for parties there to reach a deal would be pushed out until June 29th.

The original deadline had already been further extended after the British general election.

Talks have reportedly been constructive but there has been little progress on key issues - such as the future of the Irish Language Act and methods for dealing with the legacy of the Troubles.

Sinn Féin's Conor Murphy says talks have been slowed down by recent events in London.

"The deal between the DUP obviously and propping up the British government has taken longer than expected - so that has left us absent.

"Things have slowed down somewhat, but we're ready and willing - we have a negotiating team there.

"We want to get these matters closed, we want to get them closed quickly and we want to get the power-sharing institutions back up and working on the basis that they were set up - and that is under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement".