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Six months of negotiations to resolve some of the outstanding issues in the peace process in Northern Ireland have ended without a deal.

Chairman of the talks Dr Richard Haass has admitted he has failed to find consensus among the five political parties on parades, flags and the legacy of the civil unrest. The end-of-year deadline brought no agreement.

“It would have been nice to come out here tonight and say we have all five parties completely signed on to the text. We are not there,” he said after 18 hours of talks.

Tensions have led to one of the worst years of rioting in the province for a decade. Sectarian marches led to stand offs, street violence erupted over the right to fly flags while several bombs were planted in the city of Belfast by militants opposed to the peace deal of 1998.

It aimed to bring stability to Northern Ireland after decades of unrest which left more than 3,600 people dead.

Dr Haass, a former US diplomat, is set to leave the province and said no date has been fixed for the resumption of any talks.

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