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McGuinness – Unionist Leaders Must Decide

3 January, 2014 - by Martin McGuinness

The deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness this afternoon called on the leaders of the two main unionist parties to tell people whether or not they are recommending the Haass proposals to their respective parties for acceptance.

Mr McGuinness said:

“The Haass negotiations finished in the early hours of Tuesday morning. They finished with a document that was put to all of the parties present. The various negotiating teams were asked whether or not they were prepared to recommend the text to their party Executives for acceptance.

“There is no ambiguity on where Sinn Féin stands. We have made it clear that despite reservations we were prepared to move forward and recommend acceptance.

“Our involvement in the Peace Process has for almost two decades been characterised by leadership and willingness to compromise. In that spirit our negotiations team recommended acceptance of the Haass approach.

“It is not unreasonable to ask both Unionist Party leaderships if they will be recommending acceptance of the Haass document to their party executives when and if they meet, rather than attempt to renegotiate the Haass proposals.

“People deserve to know the answers to these simple questions. We are elected to sort out these matters and seek resolutions. 

“Over six months work went into these proposals. The issues dealt with are not going away. Richard Haass has made clear his view that any working group established by the Executive should take his text forward to implementation.

“The implementation of the Haass proposals must be the key priority for the five Executive parties. The time for taking decisions is here.”ENDS

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