Stormont power-sharing talks at a deadlock

Sinn Fein and the DUP both blame each other for the deadlock

Stormont power-sharing talks at a deadlock

The Parliament Buildings in Stormont, Belfast | Image:

Political parties at Stormont say they'll need serious commitments next week if a deal is to be reached to save power sharing.

Prospects of a deal to save the agreement look bleak after the first week of talks ended in the two major political parties blaming each other for the breakdown.  

Sinn Fein say the British Government and the DUP are holding up the progress.

Meanwhile, the DUP counter argue that Sinn Fein's demands on Irish Language and legacy are best dealt with after an executive is formed.

Ulster Unionists and the SDLP have also raised serious doubts about whether an accord will be reached.

Speaking about the power sharing discussions, DUP leader Arlene Foster said "We want to get back into devolution as soon as possible, we believe in devolution, we believe devolution is the right way to deal with people's problems in terms of health, education, to have a strong economy for Northern Ireland."

She said "We have set no red lines," before adding "Others unfortunately are holding up this process in terms of their political demands and that is really regrettable."

Step change

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin negotiator Conor Murphy said "We want to see an agreement, we are still focused on securing an agreement."

He said the majority of participants in the talks acknowledged the need for a "step change" in how government operates.

Mr Murphy said "Apart from the DUP and the British government everybody else gets that."

Power sharing talks will continue next week with an Easter deadline on the horizon.