This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
Ms Villiers said:
I’d like to thank Dr Haass and all the participants in the working group
on flags, parades and the past. I hope that work can continue after
Christmas to see if an agreement can be reached on these difficult
issues. In the many conversations I have had with party leaders and
others over recent days, I have been impressed by the commitment they
have shown and the willingness to consider the point of view of others.
The UK Government will continue to support the efforts made by the
Northern Ireland parties as they seek a way forward. I also welcome the
enthusiastic support offered by the Irish Government for this process
and have kept in close touch with Tanaiste, Eamon Gilmore throughout.
It is sad that the final hours of this latest round of talks took place
against the backdrop of the news of a shooting attack on Lisnaskea
police station. This was disgraceful and reckless. The officers of the
PSNI serve the whole community, working hard to keep Northern Ireland
safe, often at significant personal risk. An attack on the police is an
attack on all of us. Terrorist attempts to kill and injure people will
not succeed in forcing Northern Ireland back to its past. The
overwhelming majority have chosen the democratic path and totally reject
violence as a means to further political aims.