Essential to avoid hard border, says Irish minister Flanagan
Irish Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan has repeated calls for a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to be avoided.
Mr Flanagan was speaking on Thursday night after a day of talks at Stormont.
Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty last week, starting a two-year countdown to the UK's exit from the EU.
She said there would be "no return to the borders of the past".
Speaking in Belfast, Mr Flanagan said: "I believe it's absolutely essential that a hard border on the island of Ireland be avoided.
"We have made great strides here, particularly in the context of the peace process and indeed the hard-won gains of the peace process, that's why I'm here in Belfast."
He added: "It's absolutely essential that the open border remain in between north and south.
"Over 30,000 cross that border every day to work or to school or for hospital appointments."