Hillary Clinton's special envoy to Northern Ireland, Declan Kelly, is making a last ditch bid to save the Northern Ireland assembly from possible collapse.
Kelly has been in Northern Ireland at Secretary of State Clinton's bidding, holding talks with Sinn Fein and the Democratic Unionist Party even as the talks threatened to collapse.
Irishcentral.com understands that Mrs. Clinton herself is on standby to help if the talks continue to prove inconclusive and the future of the Northern Ireland Assembly comes directly into question.
"Mrs Clinton has spent enormous efforts to try and make this peace agreement work. She is willing and able to go the extra mile to help now in this latest crisis," said a Washington source.
The dramatic US intervention helped stave off an imminent breakdown yesterday when Sinn Fein agreed to make one more concerted effort to save the talks by having Deputy First Minster Martin McGuinness meet with First Minister Peter Robinson one more time. The two and their negotiating teams have been locked in discussion for the past week but no resolution has emerged.
Sinn Fein held a party meeting yesterday where it was expected they would leave Northern Ireland's government because of the refusal of the Unionist partnership to accept the devolving of police and justice issues to the Northern Ireland assembly, as had been agreed.
However, after the meeting Gerry Adams, Sinn Fein president revealed the party was not walking away. Speaking to the press in Dublin, he said the meeting between McGuinness and Robinson would be “a critical and defining engagement.”
On Friday night McGuinness had spoken with representatives of the British and Irish governments, Adams said. “But let me say this,” he continued. “The governments are not referees in this. The governments are guarantors with responsibilities and obligations.”