A senior member of the DUP's negotiating team has said he believes a deal that brings about power sharing between his party and Sinn Féin will be achieved in 2007.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio, Jeffrey Donaldson said he was optimistic that agreement would be reached on policing and a power sharing executive would be established at Stormont.

Doubt still surrounds whether Sinn Féin will hold a special Ard-Fheis on policing.

Republicans have said they are concerned about a lack of a positive response to the initiative from the DUP.