Stephen Farry MLA said: “I am pleased to see Senator Hart return to Northern Ireland as the Secretary of State’s envoy. The appointment of such a senior political figure demonstrates both the seriousness of the current political situation here and the commitment of the US Administration. It will highlight to the parties that the world is watching these talks.
“While these talks have only just begun, I am disappointed that they have been embroiled by controversies over process issues, and parties refusing to attend meetings or restricting their engagement. Parties must be honest with the public about these talks. If they do not wish to see agreement, then they must explain why they are opposed to progress being reached on such important issues.
“Parties must show a commitment to this process and be willing to attend all meetings and discuss every issue on the table. The people of Northern Ireland want to see these talks succeed, but that will not happen while politicians continue to put the interests of their party first ahead of the public.”