Peace talks in Northern Ireland end without deal on major issue; some progress cited

All-night talks have failed to produce an accord in Northern Ireland on key issues including the use of flags and parades which are causes of continuing dispute between Protestants and Catholics.

The talks chaired by U.S. peace envoy Richard Haass broke up early Tuesday morning without success.

Haass said a working group of the five main political parties will now look for other ways to move the process forward.

Catholics and Protestants have clashed over the issues of loyalist parades, a traditional Northern Ireland flashpoint, and when and where to fly British or Irish flags — a symbolic issue that has sparked repeated bouts of rioting in Belfast.

Six months of negotiations were supposed to have secured an agreement before Christmas, but Haass had extended the deadline for talks.