Disagreements over the fundamental but largely technical issues led to talks in Belfast closing without agreement. There are now expectations that London and Dublin will produce joint proposals to the Northern parties in a bid to revive the process.
Both nationalist and unionist politicians remain confident that the wider peace process is not threatened by the current dispute, but have accused each other of being unwilling to compromise to resolve the impasse.
Sinn Fein’s leader, Gerry Adams, the most significant nationalist politician in the negotiations, said the negotiating process “has run its course.” He called on the governments to wind up the talks and impose a solution on the Rev. Ian Paisley’s DUP, the largest unionist party. “Sinn F