US official Victoria Nuland meets Northern Ireland parties

Haass talks Previous talks on the issues of parades, flags and the past chaired by Richard Haass and Meghan O'Sullivan failed to reach agreement

A senior US official held meetings with representatives of the five executive parties at Stormont on Friday.

US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland welcomed next week's talks on the past, flags and parades.

However, she said the current situation in Northern Ireland was "a difficult moment" and "a moment for leadership".

Asked if the US might provide another chair for future talks, Ms Nuland said Washington would consider any invitation from the parties.

However, she said the primary responsibility for Northern Ireland's future depended on local party leaders being able to work together.

Ms Nuland said she had no doubt the US Vice President Joe Biden wanted to visit Northern Ireland "in the not too distant future", but it would be important he visits at a time when he can help the political process in Northern Ireland.

Asked if Northern Ireland might be in danger of frittering away its international reputation as an example of conflict resolution, Ms Nuland said no matter how difficult it feels on a day to day basis, it was important people remember how far they've come and protect and preserve the peace at every level.

Talks on the issues of flags, parades and the past, held over the Christmas and New Year period, failed to reach all-party agreement.

They were chaired by US diplomat Dr Richard Haass and his associate, Dr Meghan O'Sullivan.

More Northern Ireland stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Prostitute in red light district in Seoul, South KoreaSex for soldiers

    How Korea helped prostitutes work near US military bases


  • LuckyDumped

    The rubbish collector left on the scrap heap as his city cleans up


  • Walmart employees and supporters block off a major intersection near the Walton Family Foundation to stage a protest calling for $15 an hour and consistent full-time work in downtown Washington October 16, 2014. Black mark

    Wal-Mart workers revolt against the annual shopping bonanza


  • Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1More than 'Games'

    Fact and fiction blur in Mockingjay film.


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • UnderwaterHidden depths

    How do you explore the bottom of the ocean? BBC Future finds out

Programmes

  • All-inclusive holidaysThe Travel Show Watch

    With all-inclusive holidays seeing a resurgence are local trades missing out to big resorts?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.