National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlyn Hayden issued the following statement today:
"Talks led by independent chair Richard Haass with the five parties of the Northern Ireland Executive have reached a critical juncture. The goal has been and remains to reach agreement before the end of the year on new arrangements for parading, flags, and contending with the legacy of past violence.
Initiating these talks demonstrated the commitment of the parties and people of Northern Ireland to move forward on tough issues. We are confident that a solution can be reached if there is political will on all sides.
"We call upon the leadership of the five parties to make the compromises necessary to conclude an agreement now, one that would help heal the divisions that continue to stand between the people of Northern Ireland and the future they deserve."