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New talks on flags, parading and the past to start in the North today

Former US Senator Gary Hart will meet parties today.

Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

FORMER US SENATOR Gary Hart will begin talks with parties in the north today.

Hart will be trying to succeed where US diplomat Richard Haass could not, in breaking the deadlock in Belfast over flags, parades and the past.

Hart will meet with leaders of the five parties in the Stormont government today, having said that he is not underestimating the task at hand and assuring leaders that he will “listen closely” to them.

The meetings will be held individually, with Irish Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan and Northern Secretary Theresa Villiers both set to meet with Hart.

The Haass talks collapsed earlier this year, as the parties could not compromise on issues, despite Sinn Féin approving the proposals.

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