Anglo-Irish relations discussed at Intergovernmental Conference

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The British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (BIIGC) is set to take place on Friday.

It was confirmed that the governmental forum for Anglo-Irish co-operation will meet in Dublin for the second time this year.

Established under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, the BIIGC focuses on bilateral agreement between the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The Irish Government will be represented by Simon Coveney, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade and by Charlie Flanagan, the Minister for Justice and Equality.

The UK Government will be represented by David Lidington MP and Secretary of State Karen Bradley.

The representatives will discuss the effective operation of the institutions of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA), north/south security co-operation and bilateral co-operation between the British and Irish Governments.

Mr Coveney said he was looking forward to a “constructive meeting” in Dublin.

“Following the last meeting of the conference in July, it shows the shared determination of both governments to get all of the institutions of the Good Friday Agreement operating effectively again as soon as possible,” he said.

“It also demonstrates that, despite the current challenges, both the Irish and UK governments are committed to developing the relationship between our countries and looking at ways to maintain and deepen our engagement.”

Mr Flanagan said the meeting will be an “important opportunity” for both governments to discuss their shared security concerns.

“We have common cause in combating the threat from paramilitaries who continue to reject the Good Friday Agreement,” he said

“While considerable progress has been made on the security front, the need for continued action against paramilitaries and ongoing vigilance remains.”

Speaking in the House of Commons on Wednesday, the Northern Ireland Secretary confirmed she is attending the conference in Dublin.

Democratic Unionist leader Arlene Foster has previously dismissed the conference as a “talking shop”, adding that it did not have any decision-making powers.

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