Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has called on the two governments and all of the parties to the Haass talks “to grasp the opportunity that now exists to resolve outstanding issues.”
Gerry Adams said: “Sinn Féin has stretched ourselves in these negotiations and we are up for this challenge. The other parties should not fudge their response. They should be clear.”
The Sinn Féin leader said that the Ard Chomhairle of the Party will meet on January 11th to discuss the Haass proposals and review the outcome of the talks process.
The full text of the statement by Gerry Adams:
“The issues of parades, flags and emblems and the legacy of the past are not going away.
“Significant progress was made during the Haass talks.
“There is an onus on the Irish and British governments and all of the parties to maintain the momentum that was created and to build on this progress.
“The draft agreement is a detailed proposal. It is a compromise which seeks to find common ground between the five participating parties. This was never going to be easy but Sinn Féin believes with political will the proposed mechanisms can work.
“Sinn Féin would like to have seen some aspects of the proposed agreement strengthened and improved further. More work is required on parity of esteem, equality and respect for all cultures and identities. However agreement on everything was not possible.
“Negotiation is about give and take; it’s about making concessions and accepting that there can be no outright winners. The Haass proposals are a challenge to Sinn Féin and to all of the other parties. Sinn Féin has stretched ourselves in these negotiations and we are up for this challenge. The other parties should not fudge their response. They should be clear.
“Failure to reach agreement on these crucial issues will constantly bedevil the political process and make it difficult to reach agreements on social and economic issues that are essential for improving the quality of life for everyone.
“I would urge all citizens interested in building the peace to take the time to read the Haass proposals.
“The Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle will be meeting on January 11th.
“Sinn Féin’s negotiating team believes that the Haass proposals provide the basis for an agreement between all of the parties and we will be recommending it to Ard Chomhairle.”