Northern Ireland accord

BELFAST - Northern Ireland's rival party leaders Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams struck a landmark accord to share power yesterday, albeit with a six-week delay, after their first-ever face-to-face talks in Belfast.

BELFAST - Northern Ireland's rival party leaders Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams struck a landmark accord to share power yesterday, albeit with a six-week delay, after their first-ever face-to-face talks in Belfast.

The pair met hours before a midnight deadline set by the Irish and UK governments for a deal to restore self-rule in Northern Ireland following a five-year suspension.

According to separate statements read out by the two leaders - who did not shake hands for the cameras - they agreed in principle to restore self-rule in Belfast on May 8 as proposed by Paisley at the weekend.

Adams said the accord "marks the beginning of a new era of politics on this island".

There was no immediate response from London to the accord. - Sapa-AFP

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