Dublin [Ireland], April 9 (ANI/Sputnik): Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Micheal Martin and his UK counterpart, Boris Johnson, have discussed the ongoing violence in Northern Ireland and called on the conflicting parties to calm down and start a dialogue, Martin's office said on Thursday.
In recent days, the UK province of Northern Ireland has been gripped by clashes between police and demonstrators protesting the post-Brexit regulations governing the island of Ireland. Earlier on Thursday, Brandon Lewis, the UK government's secretary of state for Northern Ireland who is currently on an urgent visit to Belfast, called for an end to violence and disorder, noting that the only way to resolve differences is through dialogue.
"The Taoiseach and Prime Minister Johnson spoke this afternoon about the concerning developments in Northern Ireland over the last number of days. Stressing that violence is unacceptable, they called for calm. The way forward is through dialogue and working the institutions of the Good Friday Agreement," the Irish prime minister's office said in a press release.
The prime ministers also agreed that the two countries' governments would continue to stay in contact to discuss the developments in the UK province.
Tensions have been mounting in loyalist areas of Northern Ireland since the United Kingdom left the European Union for good in January, paving a way for implementing the post-Brexit Northern Ireland Protocol that led to checks on goods traveling from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
In light of discontent among Northern Ireland's loyalists and unionists claiming that the protocol created economic barriers between the UK province and the rest of the country, the situation aggravated last week when police decided not to prosecute 24 politicians from the rival republican Sinn Fein party, including Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill, for breaking coronavirus-related restrictions by attending a funeral.
Over 40 law enforcement officers have been injured during the week of unrest. (ANI/Sputnik)