Ministers from Belfast and Dublin to meet to discuss Covid-19 and Brexit

The first summit of the North-South Council of Ministers (NSMC) since the collapse of the Northern Ireland powersharing administration begins later on Friday.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin and members of his cabinet will meet first minister Arlene Foster and deputy first minister Michelle O’Neill and her colleagues for talks about Covid-19 and Brexit at Dublin Castle.

It allows the new Irish government and the restored Northern Irish executive to have a formal conversation and exchange views on issues of mutual interest and interest for the first time.

This is the first plenary session since November 2016 of a body set up under the Good Friday Agreement to deepen cooperation across the island.

The Taoiseach said, "I will also take the opportunity to highlight the government's full support for maintaining and strengthening North-South cooperation and the government's commitment to the full implementation of the New Decade New Approach Agreement.

“The government is focusing on working with the executive through the North-South Council of Ministers to carry out projects that benefit people across the island, including better north-south connectivity. Investing in the northwest region and in border communities and supporting reconciliation as an integral part of the peace process. "

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<figcaption>Arlene Foster is expected to share a platform with Michelle O’Neill for the first time in a series of relationships between the couple (Brian Lawless / PA).</figcaption></figure>
<p>Ms. Foster is expected to share a platform with the Deputy Prime Minister in a post-meeting press conference for the first time in a series of relationships between the couple.</p>
<p>Ms. O’Neill's attendance at an experienced Republican funeral in West Belfast despite coronavirus restrictions on number restrictions has angered unionists.</p>
<p>Police are investigating possible mourners violating the rules of social detachment when Bobby Storey's prison was brought through West Belfast.</p>
<p>Ms. O'Neill has admitted to her decision to go to the service, but apologized to the families who were left behind during the closure because they were injured by scenes from hundreds of people lining the route.</p>
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