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Bill Clinton and Theresa May to discuss Stormont impasse in Downing Street meeting

Former US president Bill Clinton arriving at the Culloden Hotel in Belfast for private engagements. Picture by Brian Lawless/PA Wire

British Prime Minister Theresa May is to discuss the current political situation in Northern Ireland with former US president Bill Clinton, Downing Street has said.

Mr Clinton, who has been visiting the UK and Ireland, will meet the prime minister in Number 10 on Thursday.

Her official spokesman said: "He and the PM wanted to take this opportunity to discuss Northern Ireland and also the ongoing partnership between the government and the Clinton Health Access Initiative's work to lower the cost of HIV/Aids treatment worldwide."

As president, Mr Clinton played a key role in helping to secure the 1998 Good Friday Agreement which led to power-sharing in Northern Ireland.

Currently the devolved institutions at Stormont remain suspended following collapse of the administration in January in the wake of the resignation of the late Martin McGuinness as deputy first minister.

During his visit to Northern Ireland, Mr Clinton privately met the leaders of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Féin, the two biggest parties in the assembly.

Mrs May's spokesman, however, made clear that he had not been used to deliver a message on behalf of the government, although efforts to restore power-sharing were continuing.

"Obviously work is ongoing in trying to reach a solution to get the compromises that are necessary to get the devolved administration up and running again," the spokesman said.

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