Haass talks with NI parties expected to last well into night

first_img“It’s going to be an interesting night”All five of the North’s major parties are being represented at the talks, which have focused on some of the most sensitive and contentious issues in the country.The flying of flags, which led to riots and protests last year, is one such issue. Haass had suggested a new flag for the country, but that idea has been shelved. It’s understood a commission will be proposed to look at the flags issue at a later date.The diplomat has been posting regular updates on Twitter, as his staff move back and forth between the parties in an attempt to find common ground.First Minister Martin McGuinness is also postponing his Christmas plans in a bid to reach an agreement:DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson told the BBC that Haass had indicated that if agreement could not be reached before Christmas, the discussions would recommence on 27 or 28 December.Read: Baggott: Resources needed for historical enquiries “hindering our ability to deal with the present”Read: Parades, protests and flags on the agenda as US diplomat arrives in Belfast CROSS-PARTY TALKS aimed at reaching a compromise on  issues relating to flags, parades and the past are under way tonight, as Northern Ireland’s politicians bid to reach agreement before Christmas.Today’s round-table talks, chaired by US diplomat Richard Haass, had been due to get under way this morning. They finally began after 9pm, and were expected to continue into the early hours.“We continue to have the goal we’ve always had, to press ahead for an agreement,” Haass told reporters he arrived for the discussions at the Stormont Hotel in east Belfast, adding:last_img read more