Hillary Clinton may visit Belfast later this week during a planned trip to London to offer her assistance to Sinn Fein and the DUP as they continue to negotiate an agreement over the devolution of policing and justice affairs.
Clinton is due to attend a conference on Yemen in London, and The Daily Telegraph reports that she and Prime Minster Gordon Brown spoke on the phone Tuesday about the latest on the the Northern Ireland talks.
“They discussed and took stock of the progress that's been made and the need to make an agreement,” said a spokeswoman about their conversation.
After a long plenary session co-chaired by Taoiseach Brian Cowen and Prime Minister Gordon Brown where leaders and representatives of all parties aired their views, Northern Secretary Shaun Woodward and Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin addressed the press Tuesday night.
“What was remarkable was that as we went around the room and each and every representative was that willingness to want to cooperate and make this work. We don’t underestimate the difficulties, but equally what we have identified is the real space for real progress,” said Woodward.
“The Taoiseach and the Prime Minister made their point in their assessment of the contributions of all party leaders that there was significant common ground from all parties on the way forward, and the need to move ahead and resolve issue,” added Martin.
It would seem some positive progress might have been made between the DUP and Sinn Fein over the course of the evening, but much work remains to find a resolution.
The talks were adjourned at 5.30 a.m. local time and have resumed Wednesday.