Unionists 'dance to tune of extremists'

Unionists 'dance to tune of extremists'

The leaders of the five Executive parties met at Stormont on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the fallout from the Haass process.

It comes after a debate the previous day during which MLAs voted against a Sinn Féin motion accepting Dr Richard Haass' proposals on flags, parades and dealing with the past.The party leaders have now decided to meet again next Tuesday.Speaking after the latest discussions, deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness accused unionist leaders of allowing "extremists" to set the agenda.The Sinn Féin man said: "I have watched, over the course of the last 18 months, unionist parties dancing to the tune of extremists within their own communities and that has to end."I say that because I believe that the influence of these people has impacted on the Haass negotiations and the outcome."Former US diplomat Dr Richard Haass was brought in by the Executive to chair all-party discussions on a number of contentious issues, alongside co-chair Meghan O'Sullivan.However the parties were unable to reach agreement before their end-of-2013 deadline.

© UTV

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