Statement by the Tánaiste on the Panel of Parties talks24 December 2013
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, T.D., made the following statement on the Panel of Parties talks chaired by Dr Richard Haass and Vice-Chair Dr Meghan O’Sullivan:
"I spoke with Dr Richard Haass this morning and thanked him and Vice-Chair Dr Meghan O’Sullivan for their guidance of the process to date, and their willingness to return to Northern Ireland later this week if they judge that there may be the basis for agreement.
At this point I would ask the five parties of the NI Executive to see through the very important work they have engaged in over recent months on the difficult issues of parades, flags and dealing with the past.
The next few days are an important opportunity for reflection following an intensive period for all concerned.
The Irish Government stands ready to support the process in any way possible. Our objective, which I know we share with all of the parties in the Northern Ireland Executive and with the British Government, is to see Northern Ireland make further progress towards reconciliation.
An agreement on these issues is essential to reaching that objective.
I would like to wish all members of the Panel of Parties, its Chair and Vice-Chair Richard Haass and Meghan O’Sullivan, and all the people of this island a happy and peaceful Christmas."
24 December 2013