David Ford MLA said: “I am pleased to see the ongoing interest of the American Government in Northern Ireland. American envoys and representatives have played an important part in the Northern Ireland peace process over the years, most notably Senator George Mitchell who was so pivotal to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.
“Senator Hart visited Northern Ireland in August, and I believe that he can play a key role in the all-party talks. I look forward to discussing these issues with him when he returns to Northern Ireland.
“These talks must be about more than just the three Governments and five political parties, it is important that the wider society is involved and their voices heard.
“Parties must get real as they take part in these talks. The grandstanding must end as the detailed discussions begin. The public want these talks to succeed -Alliance are committed to reaching agreement, it is now up to the other parties to show a similar commitment.”