Northern Ireland parties resume talks on forming government

Northern Ireland’s squabbling political parties have reconvened in Belfast in an attempt to end a stalemate that has left the region without a functioning government for almost three months.

The power-sharing executive, the cornerstone of a peace process that ended three decades of violent conflict, fell apart in January when the Republican Sinn Fein party pulled out.

A snap election followed on March 2, but a three-week deadline for Sinn Fein and the pro-British Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) came and went last week with no resolution.

The British government has given both sides more time to resolve their differences, but it warned that London could take direct control after its parliament resumes from April 18.

With no government in place, Northern Ireland has not been able to approve a budget for this year, which could have an impact on public services.

“We would urge all parties to take the opportunity to try to resolve the situation,” a spokesman…

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