NEGOTIATORS from Northern Ireland's political parties opened talks yesterday on reviving a power-sharing administration in the six counties.
Democratic Unionist leader Ian Paisley proclaimed that he would not even talk directly to Sinn Fein "until the IRA has disbanded and Sinn Fein ceases to carry on its alignment with the IRA."
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams said that he would not respond to such insults.
"The big challenge for the DUP would be to start to talk to Sinn Fein and then we can start taking these matters seriously," Mr Adams said.
The last power-sharing administration collapsed nearly two years ago.
Northern Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy voiced the belief that momentum could be building for a deal.
Both Britain and Ireland want intensive negotiations from September 16 to 18, led by British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his Irish counterpart Bertie Ahern to lead to a breakthrough.
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The Con-Dems have had it their way too long. We have to turn this country around