British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Northern Ireland yesterday and met the leaders of the power-sharing government that were appointed at the weekend after a three-year impasse.
Johnson was received in Belfast by Arlene Foster, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and Michelle O’Neill, Sinn Fein’s leader in Northern Ireland.
Foster was reappointed on Saturday as first minister, the post she had held until the power-sharing government collapsed in January 2017.
Her party wishes Northern Ireland to remain in union with Britain, while Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein seeks a united Ireland.
O’Neill is deputy first minister.
Johnson said he hoped that the “goodwill and compromise and hard work on all sides” would contribute to “a very bright future”, Britain’s Press Association reported.
The health service is expected to be a top priority for the Northern Ireland government, following several recent strikes by nurses.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar also visited Belfast and said the 1998 Good Friday Agreement was back up and running again.
Varadkar was referring to the agreement that underpins Northern Ireland’s fragile peace process.
He also discussed co-operation with Johnson, noting the need for a new, post-Brexit trade deal.
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