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Talks on Northern Ireland to Resume Next Month


Britain and Ireland have announced that talks on restoring Northern Ireland's power-sharing government will resume next month.

The prime ministers of the two countries, Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern, announced their plans after talks Thursday in Dublin.

Northern Ireland's power-sharing government was set up under the 1998 Good Friday peace accord that halted more than three decades of violence in the British province. British authorities suspended the Northern Ireland administration in 2002 over a spy scandal involving the Irish Republican Army. Efforts to revive it have stalled repeatedly ever since.

Last year's pledge by the Catholic IRA to end violence and its subsequent moves to disarm were seen as progress. But the largest Protestant group, the Democratic Unionist Party, insists the IRA is involved in criminal activities. It says it will not share power with IRA ally Sinn Fein for the foreseeable future.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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