Obama 'disappointed' over Haass talks

Published Friday, 14 March 2014
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American President Barack Obama has said he was "disappointed" the all-party talks chaired by former US diplomat Richard Haass failed to reach an agreement in Northern Ireland.

Obama 'disappointed' over Haass talks
US President Barack Obama shakes hands with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny (© Getty)

Mr Obama made the comments during a meeting with Taoiseach Enda Kenny in the Oval Office in the White House on Friday, ahead of the annual Saint Patrick's Day celebrations.

He urged political parties in Northern Ireland to continue to work toward a consensus.

President Obama said: "We both share an interest in seeing Northern Ireland continue to take the next steps that are necessary to finally bring an end to what so often has been a tragic history.

"I was disappointed and the US government was disappointed, that the all-party talks did not arrive at a final conclusion and agreement."

He added: "But we're urging the parties to continue to work and negotiate.

"And I know that the good influence coming from Dublin will help to encourage that to move out of the past and get the kind of history that - or the kind of future that Northern Ireland so richly deserves."

Dr Haass and his co-chair Professor Meghan O'Sullivan, an expert in international affairs, were tasked by the Stormont Executive to find an agreement on issues surrounding flags, parades and the past.

The president's comments come after US Vice-President Joe Biden also urged politicians to make progress on those outstanding issues as he accepted a peace award from the American Ireland Fund in Washington on Thursday.

Later on Friday, First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness met with Mr Biden in the White House.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Larry in Belfast wrote (319 days ago):
Yea! I bet Mr. Obama sat up all night and cried because he cares so much about us here in Northern Ireland - I don't think so!! Let's keep our solutions among ourselves and keep out all these people with their swelling words of piffle.
Seana storey in Divis tower wrote (321 days ago):
Good to see OBAMA snubbed BILL AND BEN from stormont good for him the two of them can throw their toys out of the pram now
big joe in sydenham wrote (321 days ago):
is he also dissapointed at the psni being removed from the nyc st patricks day parade by american bigots
judging politicians in ulster wrote (322 days ago):
Maybe Obama would have done a better service to the people here by pouring shame and scorn on any american or anyone else who donates money to ira terrorists,or anyone in Ulster who votes for them.
PB in Belfast wrote (322 days ago):
Did I hear right that Obama might not even aknowledge Robinson and maginnes because he was not happy the hass talks didn't come to anything...adult or what
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