§ Mr. Jim Marshall
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the progress made towards a resumption of the inter-party talks on the future of Northern Ireland.
§ Mr. Ancram
Bilateral discussions are continuing with three of the four Northern Ireland parties on the same basis as previously. The two Governments are also working intensively on a framework to carry the process forward. Our aim is to return to multilateral talks involving the two Governments and all the parties at the earliest appropriate moment.292W
§ Mr. Canavan
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he will arrange discussions with political leaders to facilitate the peace process.
§ Sir Patrick Mayhew
My hon. Friend the Minister of State and I will continue to invite discussion on the prospects for a peaceful political settlement in Northern Ireland with leaders of the main constitutional parties. The Government believe that the three-stranded talks process provides the framework within which agreement is most likely to be reached.