Ford says talks opportunity must be grasped by all parties

Alliance Leader, David Ford MLA, has said the opportunity of intensive talks on flags, parades and the past must be grasped.

David Ford MLA said: “The opportunity of intensive talks must be grasped by all parties. We have always said that if the will is there, agreement can be reached. It is of vital importance that parties come to these talks with the will do so.

“Alliance has made it clear that all of the issues dealt with at the Haass talks must be urgently resolved and believes that we will only find a long term and sustainable solution to these issues if we reach agreement on all three. The discussions on parading are not about this summer’s marching season, but about changing the legislation for future years. If parties want to change the dynamics around parading this year, then they can do so by supporting the lawful determinations of the existing Parades Commission and the PSNI as they seek to uphold them.

“We would view a successful outcome of these talks as achieving peaceful parading, an end to the use of flags as a means to mark territory and intimidate, and a process to deal with the legacy of the past.

“Alliance will enter the talks to resolve these issues, and in particular to deliver truth, justice and support for victims and survivors. We owe it to the public to prevent the legacy of the past, disputes over parades and the row over flags from holding our community back.”


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