Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Northern Ireland parties to talk again on Haass proposals

Former American diplomat Richard Haass
Former American diplomat Richard Haass

The five main Stormont party leaders have met again to debate the Haass proposals – without either breakthrough or breakdown.

There had been fears the resumed talks could end in disarray following recent bitter exchanges between First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

But instead, after more than two hours, the DUP, Sinn Fein, Ulster Unionist, SDLP and Alliance leaders agreed to meet again next week.

It is understood next Tuesday's meeting will feature the leaders and one representative of each of the parties, along with respective note-takers.

And it is believed that it will focus on one of the areas in the failed Haass negotiations on which only limited progress was made – parades.

Speaking after yesterday's meeting – the second since the former American diplomat Richard Haass and his assistant professor Meghan O'Sullivan returned to the United States – SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell said he was "heartened".

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