Adams urges Haass talks progress

Published Friday, 27 December 2013
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Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has urged local politicians to make progress in the latest bid to reach agreement on contentious issues.

Adams urges Haass talks progress
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said progres can still be made on all issues. (© Getty)

Former US diplomat Richard Haass is due to return to Northern Ireland on Saturday to resume talks with the five Executive parties, and present a fifth draft of his proposals.

The negotiations broke up before Christmas without a deal but Mr Adams insists a deal is still possible on flags, parades and the past.

"A negotiation isn't over until it's over so it's quite possible to get progress and to actually get agreement on all of these issues," the Louth TD told UTV.

"Sinn Féin met on 23 December and authorised our negotiating team to broker a deal and then to bring it back for approval at the subsequent meeting.

"In the last plenary on Christmas Eve our negotiating team told the plenary session that we thought there was a basis for agreement, that the proposed mechanisms could do the business.

"We'd reservations, we're stretching ourselves - it's a challenge but that's what this is about."

Meanwhile, East Belfast Alliance MP Naomi Long said: "Any deal depends entirely on the degree of flexibility parties are willing to show in pursuit of agreement. This is the right time and the best process to address all three issues, none of which will get less contentious with delay. Instead they will continue to distract from other important business.

"Without a significant shift in attitudes, the chance of a five party deal on all three issues remains remote, but with the right attitude, it is not impossible."

A series of individual meetings, followed by a round-table session, will take place between the parties and US talks team Dr Haass and Dr Meghan O'Sullivan this weekend.

It is expected that the discussions will continue into Monday ahead of the final deadline for an agreement on New Year's Eve.

Dr Haass tweeted on Thursday: "Only the parties can make it happen."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
James in Belfast wrote (107 days ago):
Mark in drogheda, ive lived in Dublin for many years during the boom. It was expensive back then. Today not much difference in prices between Dublin and Belfast. I would much prefer the £100 extra a week they get in Ireland if I was on the dole. Salaries in Ireland are nearly double what they get in the north. The quality of life and standard of living is a lot better in Ireland. Even during cut backs in Ireland. Poverty in the north is one of the worst in europe.
Mike in Liverpool wrote (111 days ago):
Ireland gives free medical care. Bin charges are a lot cheaper than council tax. I would much prefer over €100 extra in my pocket each week.
Disgusted in Belfast wrote (112 days ago):
Why would any sensible person listen to Gerry Adams, or take his advice, he is the most evasive person I 've ever listened to, at one time he was for his people but in my opinion not now, it's Gerry and only Gerry, money and me me, i'll stop now because you 'll not print it anyway, can 't hurt Gerry 's feelings
Annonomus in Banbridge/Enniskillen wrote (112 days ago):
What I do not understand is how some people from the North stand there and shout this is "Britian" and Ireland is a forgien country? at the the end of the day we live on the "Island of Ireland" which we choose to share with the UK. You take NORTHERN away from Ireland and what you left with? I lived in England for 3 years and I can tell anybody that you are more Irish from the day and hour when you leave, they do not understand the boarder ect. and you think the south is expensive, I met a family who lived in cornwall who moved to Rosscomon and they said it was cheaper to live in ireland for them than england and they would never go back. yes shopping may be expensive but I think the quality of food is far better, wages are higher but thats why people use the North so we benifit? what about health care? we get it free because we pay National insurance, This is where we need to work together as a whole island, NOT as a united Ireland, but for people who live very close to the boarder towns with healthcare and other issues such as phone networks, "Roaming" having TWO phones and currencys is a pain, The Nearest hospital sometimes being in the north? why cant they use it? if we had a system in place for that for both sides... As with flags I think they either fly the union jack and tricolor alongside to represent both nationalitys in the North. The good friday agreement states that NI is reconised as being part of the island of Ireland but ruled under Britian therefore allowing us to have Dual Nationality. I would count myself as Irish, my family mixed religion from both sides, but its the same bible to me :-) but I do not hate my friend or strangmdr who identifys themselves as British. TEAMWORK and COMMUNICATION. lets hope all this mess can be sorted out. . .
realistic in planet earth wrote (113 days ago):
@coleraine in coleraine - what do you think you pay national ins stamps for- the nhs isn't really 'free'..... what do you think we pay household rates for? - no rates in for the rent- i dont think i've seen a report or comparison done on the two areas.... have you?.........
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