Political leadership not political games needed to make progress on Haass says Alliance

Chris Lyttle MLA has said Alliance has made its position on the outcome of the Haass talks clear and urged other parties to commit to working together on implementing and building on what has already been agreed.

Mr Lyttle – a member of the Alliance Haass delegation – added all must avoid political games and instead show real leadership to make further progress possible.

Chris Lyttle MLA said: “The Alliance position is absolutely clear, and anyone who suggests otherwise is simply playing games. We proposed the Haass process in the first place, and committed ourselves fully throughout. We have already acknowledged the final document as a basis from which to make progress. We have given a clear commitment to work with all parties and the public on its implementation and improvement, which some other parties have yet to do.”

“We have also given our assessment of progress on each of the three issues that the process was mandated to address. Significant progress has been made on the past. If implemented and properly resourced, the framework in the text could improve victims’ and survivors’ access to justice, information and services, and encourage reconciliation for our community.

“Some progress has been made on parades and protests architecture, but greater clarity is needed on where some parties stand on a code of conduct. On the important issue of flags and emblems, however, the document itself states that no agreement or progress was possible – the only outcome is more process. This is deeply disappointing as Alliance and members of the public submitted reasonable proposals on this issue which were rejected by parties, with the unionist parties refusing to even consider proposals on the regulation of flags on lampposts.

“Alliance has real concerns about the attitude and motivation of other parties on this issue and for the consequences of the failure to show leadership. We will, of course, participate fully in all future discussions but we will not pretend that the parties at the talks made any real or substantive progress on this divisive issue.

“The idea that Alliance is a problem in this process is absurd and dishonest. The key task now is for all parties to work together with the public to achieve timely and actual progress on all three issues for the common good of our whole community.”

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