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Statement by Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern in response to the Northern Ireland election results, (9 March 2007)

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Text: Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern ... Page compiled: Brendan Lynn

Joint Statement by Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, and Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), in response to the Northern Ireland election results, (9 March 2007)


"The people have spoken and the St Andrews Agreement has been democratically validated.

We can now move to the next step outlined at St Andrews - the restoration of the Assembly and Executive.

The message of the electorate is clear. After so many years of frustration and disappointment, they want Northern Ireland to move on to build a better future together through the restored institutions. Many of the practical issues which have been raised in this election campaign can and should be resolved locally. Elected representatives now have the chance to do so.

Restoration of the devolved institutions represents an opportunity of historic proportions. It must not be missed.

We urge the parties to take on this challenge and to set Northern Ireland on a steady course for the future.

We will work closely with the parties in the coming period as the final steps are taken for restoration on 26 March. Much good work has already been done in preparation for restored government. We look forward to this work continuing.

As two governments we stand committed to working in a spirit of partnership and genuine friendship with the new Executive. The people of Northern Ireland have suffered grievous pain and loss. But enormous progress has been made and there is now no good reason why we should not be able to complete this historic process.

All must now take responsibility in government for building and consolidating peace.

This is what the people of Northern Ireland want. They deserve no less."


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