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Haass talks: A timeline

BY JOANNE SWEENEY

JULY 10: A joint statement from the office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister announces that former US envoy Richard Haass has been selected to chair all-party talks to tackle flags, parades and dealing with the past.

September 20: Haass and his aide Dr Meghan O'Sullivan begin the first round of all-party talks and announce a Christmas deadline to reach agreement. They enjoy a evening out to mark Belfast's Culture Night.

November 1: A second round of talks commences and promises that in two weeks the talks will enter a "negotiating phase rather than a consultative phase". Over 400 public submissions were received.

November 20: Attorney General John Larkin controversially calls for the end of Troubles-related prosecutions, inquests and public inquiries in order to move on from the past.

November 22: Haass returns to Northern Ireland to resume a third round of talks after speaking to business leaders in Londonderry before meeting the political parties.

December 3: Ahead of returning to resume talks, in a letter to the political parties, Haass asks them to consider what a new Northern Ireland flag would look like -- a proposal which receives widespread unionist condemnation.

December 9: Fourth round of talks commences.

December 13: Haass reveals plans to seal an agreement in six days.

December 16: An intense two weeks of final talks begin again.

December 20: An upbeat Haass says that there is a "real chance to succeed" after concluding his first round of talks with all five main political parties. Over 600 submissions from the public have been received.

December 23: Haass publishes his fourth draft of his 30-page document on his proposals.

December 24: The talks break up without reaching agreement, with Haass and O'Sullivan returning to the US to spend Christmas.

December 27: Fifth set of proposals are published as Haass cuts short his Christmas break in order to reach a new end-of-year agreement target.

December 28: Haass warns that an agreement must be struck today, saying: "At some point we have got to fish or cut bait, that time has come."

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