Saturday 24 February 2018

We must wish Dr Haass the best of luck in his difficult task

The arrival of the former US diplomat Dr Richard Haass in Belfast yesterday to deal with the intractable problems of parades, flags and emblems and how to deal effectively with the legacy of the Troubles, is to be welcomed.

While the majority 'down South' were enjoying the long hot summer, the streets of particular areas of Belfast were once again convulsed by sectarian bitterness, which, apart from anything else, appears to have had a hugely detrimental effect on the local economy.

Dr Haass will be in Belfast until Friday to encourage the five Stormont-based political parties to arrive at some sort of consensus on these and other issues, including segregated education and housing. Further talks are planned for November before the December deadline for his recommendations.

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