22:42 GMT07 May 2021
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    LONDON (Sputnik) – UK Prime Minister Theresa May urged the leaders of the two major Northern Irish political parties to make a final effort in their ongoing talks on forming the devolved regional government.

    "I have urged [the parties' leaders] to make one final push for the sake of the people of Northern Ireland. It’s been 13 long months since we last saw devolved government here, and I think we are now at the point when it’s time for the local elected representatives to find a way to work together and to deal with, to tackle the many pressing issues facing Northern Ireland," May told reporters after the meeting.

    On Monday, May visited Belfast to meet with the leaders of the main Northern Irish parties, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Fein, which have been struggling to strike a powersharing deal since the snap assembly election in March 2017

    UK media also quoted May as saying that the executive would be formed in Northern Ireland very soon.

    Arlene Foster, the DUP leader, said, in her turn, that progress had been made by the two parties in their powersharing talks.

    Mary Lou McDonald, the new Sinn Fein leader, said that the two sides were close to an agreement.

    The two major Northern Irish political forces reengaged in the talks on restoring the devolved government in January.

    The political deadlock in Northern Ireland started when Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness quit as deputy prime minister over DUP’s handling of a Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, effectively ending Foster’s term as the first minister and triggering the snap election.

    The situation has raised the prospect of direct rule from London, an outcome undesirable for both parties.


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