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Dr Richard Haass Paul Faith/PA Wire
Northern Ireland

UUP rejects "not viable" and "unacceptable" Haass proposals

The decision comes after speculation that the Ulster Unionist Party was set to reject the draft document.

THE ULSTER UNIONIST Party has unequivocally rejected the Haass proposals, which seek to bring about resolution on a number of issues in the North.

The UUP released an executive statement that said that it seeks a positive resolution to the issues of flags, parading and dealing with the past, which are the issues negotiator Dr Richard Haass and political parties have been in talks to resolve.

A document was drawn up with a suggested agreement for the parties after the end of the most recent round of talks.

The UUP said that “this Executive believes the Haas document is not viable and therefore unacceptable”.

It is calling on the office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland “to sort out the mess resulting from the process the initiated”. The party added that it will “examine any measures brought forward by the First Minister and Deputy First Minister and report again to the Executive at its next scheduled meeting in February”.

Yesterday, amid speculation that the UUP was going to reject the Haass proposals, Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, Martin McGuinness, said that “extreme loyalism” is setting the agenda of unionist parties in Northern Ireland.

He said that he was concerned that the Orange Order was having too much influence in the decision-making process of unionist parties.

The Sinn Féin leadership is recommending to its grassroots to accept the Richard Haass draft deal; the SDLP and the Alliance Party are also endorsing the proposals. The DUP said following negotiations that it could not back it in its current form.

Haass and vice-chair Meghan O’Sullivan released a fact sheet yesterday with information on the draft agreement.

The fact sheet explains that the issue of flags and emblems was the most divisive issue.

Read:  McGuinness claims ‘extreme loyalism’ is setting the unionist agenda on Haass proposals>

Read: SF tells Unionists to make up their mind about Haass proposals >

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