'Get back to Haass talks' - PM

Published Wednesday, 09 July 2014
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The Prime Minister has urged Northern Ireland politicians to return to the Haass talks and resolve the issues of flags, parades and the past to prevent extremist elements "pushing their ideas".

David Cameron was responding to a question from North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds asking him to condemn republican threats of violence "for political gain".

The Prime Minister said: "What I hope we can achieve in the coming weeks, and it will take compromise and brave decisions on all sides, is to get the Haass talks process ongoing again with commitments from his own party (the DUP) as well as from the Ulster Unionist Party and from Sinn Féin and the SDLP to sit down and discuss these things so that we can make some progress.

"My fear is that if we don't make progress on this issue you leave space open for extremists on all sides of the debate to start pushing their ideas which would be deeply unhelpful for the future of Northern Ireland."

Former US diplomat Richard Haass failed to broker a consensus on the three issues following six months of intensive talks in the second half of last year.

A number of attempts have been made to resurrect the talks, however, in the latest round of discussions the unionist parties walked out in protest over the Parades Commission's Ardoyne ruling.

© UTV News
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13 Comments
robert orange in Bangor wrote (106 days ago):
Haas can stay where he is. Hes not wanted in Northern Ireland.
Jim in Lurgan wrote (106 days ago):
Blah blah blah...
John in Co.Armagh wrote (106 days ago):
Maybe David Cameron should have a good hard look at the Hass proposals, and ask Sinn Finn and the SDLP why they were so quick to endorse them, i wonder could the reason be they favoured one side of the divide.
Davy in Dungannon wrote (106 days ago):
What has it got to do with an american?? Does he need the money??
JJ in Belfast wrote (106 days ago):
Someone should tell the PM they are too busy marching to enter into any Haass talks.
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