Northern Ireland

Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness attend British Irish Council meeting

Fresh Start deal document
Image caption Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness said politicians must build on last week's Fresh Start agreement

The first and deputy first ministers have attended a meeting of the British Irish Council in London.

The council brings together representatives of the UK and Irish governments as well as the devolved administrations.

On Thursday night, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness spoke at an event organised by Co-operation Ireland.

Mr Robinson said parties must ensure the spirit and vision of last week's Fresh Start agreement is fulfilled.

"It is fitting one of our first public events after the Stormont Agreement is this Co-operation Ireland gathering," he said.

"At every crucial moment in the political process in recent years Co-operation Ireland have had a vital part to play."

Mr McGuinness said politicians want to build on last week's progress and move into a period of positive co-operation.

"Confidence and mutual respect has to be built and maintained if we are to fully overcome the legacy of our fractured past," he said.

"We must all rise above narrow interests and agendas to create a truly reconciled society."

The Fresh Start agreement agreed a way forward on the issues paramilitarism and welfare reform after 10 weeks of talks.

However, the parties failed to break the deadlock over legacy issues arising from Northern Ireland's Troubles.

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