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Martin McGuinness calls for all-party discussions on the issue of symbols and emblems.

14 December, 2012


Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MP has stated that the way forward on how best to represent and protect identities and symbols of both nationalists and unionists can can only emerge from cross-party and cross-community discussions.

Speaking today Mr McGuinness said:

"It is clear that the protests about the recent Belfast City Council decision on flags are serving no positive purpose. They should be ended immediately.  We need to hear an unequivocal message to this effect from unionist leaders.

"A way forward on how best to represent and protect the identity and symbols of both nationalists and unionists can only emerge from cross-party and cross-community discussions. Ultimately, any workable proposals needs cross community support."

These discussions need to address the meaning of mutual respect,  parity of esteem and how to ensure that symbols and emblems are not used to promote division.

"I am confident that we can map a way forward on this basis. What we need in the coming days is all-party discussions on this issue. Any proposals which have the potential for moving us forward on this issue, will require cross community support.  The sooner therefore that these discussions begin the better."

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