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Unionists can't hide from talks - Maskey

18 August, 2014 - by Alex Maskey

Sinn Féin MLA Alex Maskey has said unionists should come back to talks on parading, flags and the past.

Speaking after unionists said they would not engage in talks until after a decision on their call for an investigation into a parade in North Belfast, Mr Maskey said; 

"Genuine, meaningful and inclusive dialogue is the only way to resolve the outstanding issues around flags, parading and the past. 

"Such a process was in place with the Haass talks and the recent all-party talks.

"Unionists walked out of those talks when things didn't go their way. Instead they publicly aligned themselves with loyalist paramilitary elements in calling for an inquiry by the British government into a section of the route of the Ardoyne parade. 

"Now the unionist parties are hiding behind their call to the British Secretary of State Theresa Villiers for an inquiry into a single parade. 

"That will not resolve the issues around parading, nor will prevaricating while waiting on a decision on that call.

“Theresa Villiers for her part needs to make it clear to unionists that there should be no excuse for refusing to engage in dialogue.

"The quicker unionists realise that these issues will only be resolved when there is a comprehensive agreement between the parties and stakeholders here the better.”

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