‘Round table meeting could avert crisis’

Speaking after the Alliance delegation’s meeting with US envoy Richard Haass today, Party Leader David Ford MLA said:

“We impressed upon Mr Haass the importance of acts of completion from republicans, who have much ground to make up to restore the confidence that is lacking in the political process.

“Mr Haass is also aware of the need for meaningful and constructive engagement from unionism. Both of these elements are crucial to resolving our problems, and if his influence can be used in any way to bring them about, it will be of benefit to restoring the institutions.”

Mr Ford reiterated his call for the Prime Minister and Taoiseach to hold round table talks following their bilateral meetings with the parties at Hillsborough on February 12.

“While there is much speculation about acts from republicans and plans from the Government, there is a real need for this process to remain fully inclusive. Secret deals tend to break down easily and that can quickly lead to crisis.”

“For that reason, I would call for the Prime Minister and Taoiseach to co-chair a round table meeting after the bilateral meetings at Hillsborough to allow everyone to take stock of the process so far.”

“Transparency and openness are crucial to the survival of the talks and making progress that won’t be in vain.”


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