Haass set to return for further talks

Published Thursday, 26 December 2013
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Talks chairman Dr Richard Haass is set to return to Northern Ireland this weekend to continue efforts to reach an agreement on flags, parades and the past.

Haass set to return for further talks
Dr Richard Haass has welcomed submissions from a wide range of groups. (© Presseye)

The former US Envoy left Belfast on Tuesday morning after an overnight round-table session with the five Executive parties failed to produce a deal before Christmas.

But he said he and co-chair Dr Meghan O'Sullivan would consider returning if they believed an eleventh hour deal could yet be struck.

The US team are now set to fly back to Belfast to resume the talks on Saturday.

According to journalist Brian Rowan, individual meetings will be held with the parties followed by a round-table discussion, with the negotiations likely to continue into Sunday and Monday.

He explained: "In the early hours of Christmas Eve, Doctors Haass and O'Sullivan made clear that their deadline would not stretch beyond the end of this calendar year.

"They have meetings planned throughout Saturday into Sunday and through to Monday. We know at this stage that they are not close to a deal on flags. The plan is that issue, along with others, will be pushed into a commission and a longer-term process.

"What would represent success for the US team would be getting agreement on their proposed package for addressing the past.

"That would include a new Historical Investigations Unit, an Independent Commission for Information Retrieval using limited immunity, and an implementation and reconciliation unit.

"It would mean much of the Eames/Bradley package of 2009 would be brought back into play."

It is expected that a fifth draft of Dr Haass' proposals will be handed to the parties this weekend ahead of the New Year's Eve deadline for agreement.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
paul belfast in belfast wrote (111 days ago):
Dorothy in Kansas if your so heart broken about your wee island , why are you living in america
decky in belfast wrote (111 days ago):
99%lorna get real more like 5%
Colleen in Belfast wrote (111 days ago):
Rachael in Belfast Those tralks are costing as lot less than the cost of social programs for our spongers, who falsely claim welfare handouts
blind lead by in political donkeys wrote (111 days ago):
@Dorothy in Kansas it's a shame that your concern for people ruling themselves doesn't seem to involve concern for peoples in over a hundred other countries around the world, as the country you reside in has the biggest military empire in the world at present and is never done imposing itself upon everyone else,and lets not forget sf/ira love to cosey up to this huge imperialist nation you live in.Neither do sf/ira appear to have an issue with the Irish Republics loss of independent sovereignty by being controlled and manipulated by the EU and European bankers.Evidence if any were needed that the sf/ira dogma of the utopia of a united Ireland free from outsiders and opposition to imperialism is and always has been a complete farce, they are in it for (to paraphrase) "themselves alone".The people to blame for our current problems are those who through sf/ira's carefully orchestrated distraction by division blindly vote for sf without consideration for the consequences.I should also point out that I know many Protestants and Catholics who wouldn't exchange places with someone from the Irish Republic for all the tea in the world never mind China.
Sammy Prod in Northern Ireland wrote (111 days ago):
I think dub in Dublin and Dorothy in Kanzas are right. Both traditions have to be recognised or none for the future sake of this province.
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