Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

Richard Haass talks: What they said as the process stalled

David Cameron said there is a shared commitment to make progress
David Cameron said there is a shared commitment to make progress

"All the parties support significant parts of the agreement. At the same time, all have some concerns."

Dr Richard Haass

"I am disappointed that the talks chaired by Dr Richard Haass have concluded without reaching agreement. I believe this will also come as a disappointment to the people of Northern Ireland."

Taoiseach Enda Kenny

"It is disappointing that it has not been possible to reach a comprehensive agreement on flags, parading and the past within the timetable set out by Dr Haass and his team. Yet this should not be seen as the end of the road in seeking to find a way forward on these difficult and divisive issues."

Secretary of State Theresa Villiers

"Taxi for Haass! Hope he takes with him his plans to sanitise terrorism, dilute justice and demean the flag. Beware of drip feed acceptance."

TUV leader Jim Allister

"There is a shared commitment to making progress on these very difficult issues that continue to be a focus for tension and division across the community."

Prime Minister David Cameron

"I have always said that the first test of progress must be comprehensive proposals to address the past. That is the biggest strength of Haass/O'Sullivan. That is the first reason why I believe the party should give a general endorsement of today's outcome."

SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell

"We do not have an agreement, but we are committed to continuing this work beyond now in dialogue with others to try and resolve the outstanding issues that need to be addressed."

DUP negotiator Jeffrey Donaldson

"Like every other negotiation, this document is a compromise position. We would like to see some aspects strengthened and improved further. However, agreement on everything was not possible."

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams

"The politicians have said they will listen to and heed the voices of those who have given the most; they have said there is an unimaginable debt to be paid to those who have experienced loss, injury and lifelong mental health trauma. Quite simply that debt must be paid and failure to progress is not an option."

Victims Commissioner Kathryn Stone

"While certain parts of this agreement will be welcomed by the public, other areas fall far short of what should have been achieved. This is certainly not the comprehensive agreement that we entered these talks to achieve."

Alliance leader David Ford

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