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Need to resolve outstanding issues ­– McGuinness

19 December, 2014 - by Martin McGuinness

Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness said tonight that efforts to achieve a comprehensive agreement to all-party talks in the North have so far been inconclusive.

Martin McGuinness said:

“Over the past ten weeks Sinn Féin have engaged in the talks process in a positive and constructive manner to achieve a comprehensive agreement.

 “Our objectives have always been to reach an agreement which protects the most vulnerable in society, safeguards the rights and entitlements of citizens, delivers on outstanding agreements, grows the economy and enhances the working of the institutions.

“Progress has been made and today the five parties have agreed a set of proposals regarding public finance that would enable the Executive to use it’s powers to protect the most vulnerable, and to invest in building peace and reconciliation and welfare safeguards.

“These proposals require additional financial support.

“There has yet to be agreement on the outstanding issues of identity, parades and the legacy of the past.

“A side deal between the British government and the unionists to set up a panel in response to a demand from the Orange Order to march through nationalist communities in North Belfast makes the achievement of a comprehensive agreement more difficult.

“The two governments’ dilution of the Haass proposals on the past particularly on the issue of victims and survivors is a stumbling block.

“We are continuing to seek agreement on the implementation of outstanding issues from the Good Friday and other agreements including an Acht Gaeilge, a Bill of Rights and the inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane.

“If the institutions are to maintain the support of the people it’s clear we need to resolve both the financial situation and the outstanding matters.” 

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