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Former US diplomat Richard Haass, assisted by Harvard professor Meghan O'Sullivan, speaking to the media at the Stormont Hotel, yesterday. Paul Faith/PA Wire/Press Association Images
Northern Ireland

No all-party talks today as Haass sets agreement deadline of noon, Monday

A deal must be reached tomorrow, says the former US diplomat.

THERE WILL BE no all-party talks in Belfast today on the contentious parades and flags issues but some meetings will take place between various individuals.

Former US diplomat Richard Haass, who is mediating the process, has set a recommencement time for the plenary of 6am Monday. There will then be six hours of talks before the deadline for an agreement is hit.

He has said that the current differences between the party are “difficult but not intractable”.

Talks finished up at 7.15pm yesterday and asked whether this was the final effort in the process, Haass said that the time had come to “fish or cut bait”.

Haass and Harvard Professor Meghan O’Sullivan were asked to lead the discussions as the ministerial executive in Northern Ireland want all parties to strike a deal on how and when parades are conducted, as well as when flags are flown.

They both returned to Belfast yesterday for the final round of talks. Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said it would be a “terrible embarrassment” for politicians in Stormont if the pair left without an agreement.

‘Time to fish or cut bait’: Haass talks recommence, with Monday set as deadline

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