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Not all parties have 'abdicated leadership'

US diplomat Nancy Soderberg, in an article under the headline 'Failing to get beyond the past puts ceasefire gains at risk' (News, August 29), claimed there has been an abdication of leadership on the part "of the political parties".

She wrote "parties" had failed to pick up on the proposals on dealing with the past, parading and flags put forward by Dr Richard Haass late last year. Such broad-brush generalisations don't accurately represent the realities.

Sinn Fein and others endorsed the compromise proposals from Richard Haass and Meghan O'Sullivan following the negotiations. Others, including the unionists and British Government, did not.

In refusing to endorse the outcome of the Haass process, these parties showed lack of leadership.

The sweeping generalisations of the article obscure the reality of the situation, and do not challenge unionists to move forward.

CONOR MURPHY (SINN FEIN)

MP for Newry and Armagh

Belfast Telegraph

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