Northern Ireland's political leaders need to make bold moves to address sectarian division and bring Union flag violence to an end, Theresa Villiers said.
The Northern Ireland Secretary met community and church figures in east Belfast yesterday.
Loyalist rioting which injured around 100 police officers has been fiercest in the area.
Ms Villiers said it was important for all politicians to be forthright in condemning violence and calling for real progress on building a shared society.
"I am encouraging them to continue to work together and send out a signal strongly that Northern Ireland is open for business," she said.
"They need to make progress on unfinished business for some in Northern Ireland.
"There remains deep-seated divisions on sectarian lines. It is hugely important we have bold moves to try and address that."