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Sinn Fein plans peace deal meeting

Gerry Adams

Gerry Adams

Sinn Fein’s ruling party executive is to meet on January 11 to consider the proposed Northern Ireland peace deal.

Talks chaired by former US diplomat Dr Richard Haass broke up on New Year’s Eve without unanimous agreement.

He has urged members of the public to engage in a robust debate on his proposals on how to deal with contentious issues such as flags, parades and dealing with the region’s troubled past.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams said: “Sinn Fein has stretched ourselves in these negotiations and we are up for this challenge. The other parties should not fudge their response. They should be clear.

“Failure to reach agreement on these crucial issues will constantly bedevil the political process and make it difficult to reach agreements on social and economic issues that are essential for improving the quality of life for everyone.

“I would urge all citizens interested in building the peace to take the time to read the Haass proposals.”

Sinn Fein endorsed the proposals while the nationalist SDLP indicated it would also support them. The Alliance Party complained about a lack of substantial progress on parades and flags but it also indicated it would accept what was on offer in a seventh and final text that Dr Haass and the talks’ vice-chair, Prof Meghan O’Sullivan, presented on Tuesday morning.

Ulster Unionist Party leader Mike Nesbitt is to discuss the paper with the party’s 120-member executive next week.

Democratic Unionist First Minister Peter Robinson said he did not recognise as accurate reports of “talks failure” given the wide gulf that existed on the Haass team’s arrival and the broad areas of agreement on their departure.

 

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