Haass plan: NI leaders meet after Stormont rejects implementation vote

Posted By: January 14, 2014

 BBC NI . Tuesday, January 14, 2014

hasst group 

Meghan O’Sullivan and Richard Haass (both centre) chaired a series of round-table talks with Northern Ireland’s five main political parties

The leaders of Stormont’s five main parties are due to meet to discuss the way ahead following the lack of agreement over the Haass proposals.

A Sinn Féin motion calling for the implementation of the plan was rejected by the Northern Ireland Assembly on Monday night.

Amendments by the UUP, the DUP and Alliance were also voted down.

The Haass talks focussed on the issues of flags, parades and the past and ended on New Year’s Eve without a deal.

They were chaired by US diplomat Richard Haass and Harvard academic Prof Meghan O’Sullivan.

During Monday’s assembly debate, Sinn Féin’s Caitriona Ruane accused the DUP and the Ulster Unionists of a “failure of leadership”.

The DUP’s Arlene Foster said there was “still much work to do” on the proposals.

Elements

The DUP had proposed an amendment that would delete any reference to the Haass proposals being implemented.

The UUP also proposed an amendment to the Sinn Féin motion, which called on the first and deputy first ministers to agree to proposals for a practical and a positive way forward.

In a separate amendment, the Alliance Party wanted another process to examine difficulties over parades and flags and have called for an independently chaired mechanism to be set up urgently.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland’s first minister said any work on the Haass proposals should examine in detail all 340 elements in the document.

Peter Robinson told the assembly the parties must itemise areas of agreement.