A Fianna Fáil committee to formulate a strategy for the development of the party on a 32-county basis will have its first meeting next week.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern, today formally announced the establishment of the Fianna Fáíl Northern Strategy Committee.

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern last month said the process would be gradual.

The announcement was welcomed by Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister, Sinn Féin's Martin McGuiness.