Published Friday, 27 December 2013
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