Haass 'won't be kicked into long grass'

Published Tuesday, 21 January 2014
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The SDLP has said the Haass proposals will not be allowed to be kicked into the long grass, however, time should be allowed for the five Executive parties to reach an agreement.

Haass 'won't be kicked into long grass'
Dr Richard Haass consulted with a wide range of people and groups. (© Presseye)

Talks chaired by Richard Haass on finding a consensus on the three contentious issues of flags, parades and the past, broke up without agreement at the end of last year.

Since then the DUP, Sinn Féin, the Ulster Unionists, the SDLP and the Alliance parties have been at odds with each other as to how to proceed over his final proposals.

On Tuesday, the parties held further talks at Stormont in a bid to reach agreement. It's the second time the parties have met since Dr Haass returned to America.

It's believed that during the two-hour long discussions, the main areas of contention were discussed in detail and the parties agreed to continue the work.

SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell made a positive response to the day's talks.

He said: "I can see a deal being done, but I am not prepared to put a time on it because I do not want to put pressure on anybody.

"I am quite happy for people to come to this because in all of these things, it takes time.

"And we are going to take whatever time is needed, but we are not going to do, at the same time, is mess around and kick this into the long grass.

"We are going to deal with it now."

Next Tuesday, the parties are to meet again and it is expected they will specifically discuss the issue of parades and protests.

There has been speculation over the Irish and British governments getting involved in order to help broker an agreement.

However, UTV political editor, Ken Reid said he believes both are reluctant to enter the fray.

He added: "There is an effort going on to get an agreement.

"But there is still a reluctance for both the governments to get involved.

"Both the Secretary of State Theresa Villiers and the Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Eamonn Gilmore have offered to play a role.

"But they feel there has to be a solution between the five parties and that's a view which is shared by the Obama administration in America."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
9 Comments
desdodes in lower ormo wrote (242 days ago):
Deeko. Where about's in the Haass proposals was this pro republican deal that you spout about? I know I did'nt read one. MUPPET.
Me in Belfast wrote (242 days ago):
Its over. Democracy prevailed.
Dorothy in Kansas wrote (243 days ago):
I just watched the Eamon Gilmore interview on Sunday Politics, in which he displayed a lack of interest in getting involved in the Haass talks. Then I watched Nigel Dodds ask a question in the Commons, in which he pretended Gilmore had said the opposite. I am so depressed with these Unionists and their negative and mean attitudes. Their stingy and miserly response to any suggestion of compromise. The only word they know is 'NO'
pip in belfast wrote (243 days ago):
the answer is simple remove those with a terrorist background and agenda and let the people decide what they want thus insuring equality and fairness for all instead of cheap political point scoring leading the future of this country ! those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it
Deeko in Belfast UK wrote (243 days ago):
Haass is dead in the water ,3 partys said no..Democracy.It was a pro REPUBLICAN DEAL
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