BELFAST (Reuters) - Britain's Northern Ireland minister told the province's party leaders on Thursday that he would "take the weekend to reflect" if they missed a 1500 GMT deadline to restore the province's power-sharing government, the leader of the Alliance Party said.
Minister James Brokenshire called for a solution "as soon as possible" earlier on Thursday, without explicitly extending the deadline. The province's largest party has said a breakthrough will not be possible.
"If there is no agreement at 4 o'clock (local time) he has already said he will take the weekend to reflect. They want the talks to continue over the weekend," Naomi Long told reporters.
Reporting by Amanda Ferguson; Editing by Padraic Halpin and Andrew Roche