'We're not giving up on Ulster peace'

Tony Blair said it was too early to say if the deadlock in Northern Ireland's political process could be broken.

But the Prime Minister said he had not put in years of work and commitment to the pursuit of peace to give up now.

Mr Blair was speaking after holding talks at Downing Street with the Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and the leaders of Northern Ireland's pro-Good Friday Agreement parties.

He said the review of the agreement would begin shortly and must be "short, sharp and focused".

"I think it is too early to say whether it is possible to find a way through this yet but I will do my level best to find a way forward," he said.

"The Taoiseach and I have not put in all these years of work and commitment to give up on it now."

Flanked by Mr Ahern the premier added: "We are all agreed we must try to find a way through this. There will be a review that will begin shortly.

"I think there is a general agreement that it should be a short and sharp and focused review of the way the institutions have worked and how we overcome the present impasse.

"Everybody in Northern Ireland wants to see devolved government back in Northern Ireland. The question is can we create the conditions in which that can comes about.

"We will do our very best and work as hard as we can to achieve it."

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