Published Monday, 09 December 2013
Dr Haass is chairing all-party discussions on parades, flags and dealing with the past.
He arrived back in Belfast on Monday to start two weeks of intense negotiations aimed at reaching a resolution ahead of his end-of-year deadline.
"Our goal has been and our goal remains to reach a meaningful agreement before Christmas," he told a news conference in the city.
"We continue to believe that with full commitment from all five parties in the Executive here, this goal remains doable."
Last week, Dr Haass raised the idea of a new Northern Ireland flag, asking what a process to design and validate it would look like and what role it could play in civic life.
The suggestion was dismissed by some unionists who said they stand behind the Union flag.
Meanwhile business leaders have urged political leaders to "grasp the opportunity of the talks process" to help build confidence as the economic recovery takes hold in 2014.
The CBI said: "The next two weeks provide a window of opportunity within which the entire business community, and we believe the vast majority of the wider community, wishes to encourage our politicians to use constructively and wisely.
"There is a high expectation within the business community that these talks can and indeed must deliver solutions within this timeframe."
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