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Robinson says McGuinness in denial over negotiations

First Minister Peter Robinson has accused Martin McGuinness of being in denial on how to make progress on contentious parades, flags and the legacy of conflict amid tensions at the heart of Northern Ireland's government.

The Sinn Fein Deputy First Minister has urged all parties to implement proposals drawn up by former US diplomat Dr Richard Haass following months of negotiations.

Democratic Unionists have expressed reservations and their leader Mr Robinson claimed his Stormont power-sharing partner appeared to believe it was everyone else's duty to reach agreement on his terms.

"The unhelpful and irrational comments made by Martin McGuinness will do nothing to take the negotiations forward," he said. "He is in political denial and clearly has an exaggerated view of what his role is within the process."

Sinn Fein and the nationalist SDLP have endorsed the draft plan published after Stormont talks broke up without agreement on New Year's Eve. It includes new mechanisms for dealing with the past and parades, and greater provision for victims of the 30-year conflict.

Mr Robinson added: "If Sinn Fein or any other party does not want to be part of a process that seeks to resolve outstanding issues they can walk away, but that will display a lack of leadership on their part."

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