(AFP) - Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern is to hold talks with his counterpart Tony Blair focused on deadlocked efforts to restore self-government in Northern Ireland.
The meeting in London was to be the first time the two premiers have met since a transitional assembly was established in Belfast under the St Andrews Agreement, hammered out by the two governments in mid-October, reports Trend.
"Their discussion is likely to focus mainly on the current situation in the North and their ongoing efforts to see the full implementation of what was agreed at St Andrews," said a statement from Ahern's office on Monday.
"Having seen the passing of the British legislation, followed by a commitment to power-sharing by the relevant party leaders, the focus will be on ensuring the St Andrews timescale is maintained in all respects."
The St Andrews Agreement sets out a precise timetable leading up the restoration of power-sharing on March 26 next year.
The transitional assembly is due to be dissolved in January, to pave the way for elections in March.
The promise of self-rule was among the main planks of the landmark 1998 Good Friday agreement -- or Belfast Agreement -- which ended three decades of "the Troubles", in which over 3,500 people died, many at the hands of the IRA.
But self-rule was suspended in 2002 after allegations of an IRA spy ring at Stormont and Northern Ireland has been under direct rule from London ever since.