Even if the DUP blocks restoration of the political institutions it cannot be allowed to block change, SDLP leader Mark Durkan said last night (Tuesday).
The Foyle MP was speaking from Washington where he has been briefing US politicians on the political process. He said support in America for the Good Friday Agreement remains rock solid.
"They are clear that even if the parties do not reach a deal, the agreement must remain the only show in town," he said.
"They strongly support plans for the two governments to take the lead in implementing it and support a radical renewal of the north-south agenda."
However, Mr Durkan said US politicians and opinion formers are also frustrated at the slow pace of progress and find the state of play "silly and surreal".
The SDLP leader had discussions yesterday with US envoy Mitchell Reiss, Senator Ted Kennedy, and congressmen and trade union leaders.
Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams also travelled to the US yesterday and will attend the Clinton Global Initiative meeting today in New York, as will Mr Durkan. Mr Adams has a series of engagements lined up with senior political figures. The West Belfast MP is also to be guest speaker tomorrow at the Council on Foreign Relations at the invitation of Richard Haass, former US envoy to Ireland.