Theresa May has urged Northern Ireland’s political leaders to make “one final push” to reach an agreement on restoring the powersharing executive.
After a series of high-level talks in Belfast, the Prime Minister said that “while differences remain, I think there is the basis of an agreement here” and hoped that an executive could be “up and running very soon”.
Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar has said he is “very hopeful” of a powersharing agreement being reached this week.
After a series of talks involving the leaders of Sinn Fein and the DUP, the Irish leader said there was a “lot of work to do” but progress was going in the “right direction”.
Democratic Unionist leader Arlene Foster said earlier the tone of the talks had been “very good” and Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald said the two parties were “close to an agreement”.
Mr Varadkar said: “We are very hopeful that those two parties are able to come to an agreement this week.”