Sinn Féin endorses Haass proposals

Published Saturday, 11 January 2014
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Sinn Féin has called on the British and Irish governments to make "clear statements" in support of the Haass proposals and work with all parties towards their implementation.

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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.

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30 Comments
martin in belfast wrote (94 days ago):
its time that the dublin goverment decided whats best for everyone. of course this will be dressed up as a joint decision between Britain and ireland. but only the fools will believe that britain has any say in how the north is run these days.
Ryan in An Dun wrote (94 days ago):
@sam Ballysillian. You say Sinn Fein are meant to be democrats. So people for the PUL community are democrats when it suits them. Where were all the democrats when the flying of the flag was changed? You said and I quote "for both sides to give support both had to lose to gain" so what your saying is that the unionist parties are not willing to loose to gain but Sinn Fein and SDLP are? So how would you suggest we move on? Just put the flag back up 365 and bring the B Specials back to curb the republican protestors?
Michael in Belfast - ireland wrote (95 days ago):
Observer in uk - wasn't Haass invited here by Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness ?? Strange how when things Unionists dont want to hear or accept its time for 'Haass to go Home' - lol says it all really doesnt it ?
Michael Monaghan in Belfast - Ireland wrote (95 days ago):
Billy in N.I - fact is Sinn Fein or the second biggest party here and soon to be the biggest - get used to it ... They represent a big part of the community who live in this part of Ireland - time to accept this reality .. So off course they have a say equal to Unionists .. Time for one community dominating another or gone!!
Observer in UK wrote (95 days ago):
AK "To observer in uk Your attempt at marrying al queda with republicans is laughable!"...I disagree, both are terrorist organisations who are targeting occupying forces. One could just as easily say al qaeda are "actors in a conflict". Although they are not friends since Al Qaeda blew the lid on the ira cogarette smuggling operation, but laughable it is not.
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