President Bush has phoned Northern Ireland's main Protestant leader Ian Paisley, offering to help the province strike a deal to revive power-sharing in the British province. 

Mr. Bush told reporters he wants to be part of the process to reach an agreement. Mr. Paisley said he told Mr. Bush any deal would have to address fundamental issues that have blocked progress.

Earlier this week, Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern warned Northern Ireland's parties they must decide within days whether to accept new proposals to break the deadlock over power-sharing.  The proposals include monitoring by Catholic and Protestant clerics of the disarmament of the Catholic Irish Republican Army.

President Bush is also expected to phone Gerry Adams, the leader of the IRA's political wing, Sinn Fein.

Britain suspended Northern Ireland's power-sharing government two years ago amid charges of IRA spying on provincial officials.

Some information for this story provided by Reuters.