Published Saturday, 11 January 2014
Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams speaking after the SF Ard Chomhairle meeting. (© UTV)
Following a meeting of the party's Ard Chomhairle in Dublin, a statement was made by Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams endorsing the Haass recommendations on flags, parades and dealing with the past.
Mr Adams called on the two governments to make it "very clear and very unambiguous" that they support the proposals.
"We also believe that there needs to be a wide ranging debate in all sectors of society particularly in those areas most acutely affected by these contentious issues," he added.
"As with every negotiation in which Sinn Féin has been involved, this document is a compromise position.
"In relation to the past Sinn Féin has always said that the needs of victims must be central to any proposals. We believe that the Haass document makes considerable advances on this issue."
The Sinn Féin leader said on the issue of flags that "agreement on everything was not possible".
"Sinn Féin has little confidence that the proposed Commission on Identity, Culture and Tradition will resolve these issues," Mr Adams stated.
"We are also disappointed that issues like Acht na Gaeilge and the development at the former Long Kesh prison site, which were part of previous agreements, were not advanced. These issues remain to be resolved in the time ahead."
He added that in absence of dialogue or agreement over parades, the Haass proposals meet the requirement for a "robust regulatory body".
Speaking following the meeting, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness added: "We need to hear David Cameron say he supports the Haass proposals, we need to hear the Taoiseach say he supports the Haass proposals and hopefully we will hear the President of the United States make it clear that they support the Haass proposals.
"One thing is absolutely clear, Richard Haass is telling the five parties in the north, he wants to see the text of his seventh draft implemented.
"He's not looking for a renegotiation; he's looking to see a text of his six months of work with the other parties implemented."
The US team of Dr Haass and Dr Meghan O'Sullivan were brought in in September by the NI Executive parties in an attempt to resolve contentious issues, but after seven draft proposals an agreement was not reached by the December deadline.
Sinn Féin and SDLP endorsed the proposals, while the DUP, UUP and Alliance Party did not agree on elements of the final draft.
Following Dr Haass' departure from Northern Ireland, the Ulster Unionists publicly rejected the proposals, after party leader Mike Nesbitt initially said he was "optimistic" of an agreement during the final stages of the talks in December.
On Friday, First Minister Peter Robinson urged involved parties to "roll up their sleeves" and continue to work towards an agreement.
© UTV News