British, Irish PMs to visit Northern Ireland; urging end to political crisis
 Source : NewsBharati  Date : 12-Feb-2018

London, February 12: British Prime Minister Theresa May and Irish leader Leo Varadkar will meet with Northern Ireland’s main political parties in Belfast on Monday to urge the restoration of the province’s devolved administration.

Withdrawal of following Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein from a power-sharing government with its rival has led to Northern Ireland to be without an executive and assembly for over a year, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

Despite repeated deadlines, the two parties have since failed to reach any new agreement, leaving a lack of political leadership that critics say has sidelined Northern Ireland as Britain negotiates its exit from the European Union.

A statement from May's office said she would remind the political leaders of the "many pressing issues facing Northern Ireland" and say that a resolution would benefit the country's citizens.

May will also say that good progress has been made in recent days, echoing statements made by both the DUP and Sinn Fein on Friday.

Varadkar, who on Sunday warned May that time was running out for Britain to spell out exactly what kind of a post-Brexit deal it wants from the EU, will hold a meeting with the British prime minister while the two leaders are in Belfast, his office said.

He will also use the visit to assess the state of play in the Belfast negotiations and encourage the parties to reach an agreement, his office said in a statement.