Talks aimed at breaking Haass deadlock

Published Monday, 09 June 2014
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Further talks are to take place between the Executive parties in an attempt to break the deadlock of the failed Haass talks from late last year.

The political parties are due to nominate their representatives for the talks aimed at tackling the contentious issues of flags, parades and the past.

Three days of round-table sessions have been pencilled in to take place in two weeks' time.

Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore, who is visiting Stormont to promote the discussions, said he was "hopeful real progress would be possible".

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness met with Mr Gilmore on Monday to discuss the challenges facing the political process.

Mr Adams said that there is an opportunity to deal with issues like flags, parades and the past - an opportunity which must be seized by party leaders.

"We have agreed to meet separately with An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the British Prime Minister David Cameron as soon as that can be arranged," he added.

"The party leaders in the Executive have agreed an intensive round of talks and Sinn Féin will enter into those talks positively and in the same spirit that we did the Haass talks. We are totally committed to finding a way forward.

"It's vital the Irish and British governments are more engaged in the political process and that all the political parties put their shoulder to the wheel to make progress."

Former US diplomat Dr Richard Haass and his co-chair Professor Meghan O'Sullivan, an expert in international affairs, held six months of discussions last year to reach a resolution on the three main issues.

However, despite marathon sessions of talks, which broke the original Christmas deadline, and seven draft sets of proposals, a consensus could not be reached.

Following the conclusion of the talks, Dr Haass said his involvement was over, however, he has said he will be watching the latest talks "closely".

© UTV News
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3 Comments
Paul in Belfast wrote (172 days ago):
Why does northern ireland spend so much on such rubbish i say ban pararades forget the past and think of the future and stop all flag flying if it causes so much friction
just sayin in here wrote (173 days ago):
Typical of political figures to continue to try and push onto a people something the people rejected.
Ulster in Ulster wrote (173 days ago):
Ulster says no!!! to all hass propsals
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