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Irish PM - Deal between DUP, UK PM must not hurt Northern Irish devolution

Prime Minister of Ireland (Taoiseach) Leo Varadkar greets the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), Arlene Foster on the steps of Government buildings in Dublin, Ireland June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Any deal Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party reaches to prop up British Prime Minister Theresa May must not interfere with devolution in the British province, Ireland’s new prime minister said on Friday.

Leo Varadkar made his comments after meeting with the leader of the DUP which is in talks to keep May in power. Some political leaders in Northern Ireland fear a tie-up between the two could unsettle politics in Britain’s smallest province where pro-British unionists share power with Irish nationalists.

“The Taoiseach (prime minister) raised the ongoing discussions on formation of a new government in London with the DUP, which is a matter for the parties represented at Westminster, but noted the need to avoid any outcome which could interfere with devolution and the prospects of re-establishing the Executive,” Varadkar’s office said in a statement.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; editing by Richard Balmforth