PSNI and loyalists in talks to ease tensions
Published 15/11/2013 | 01:30
Talks aimed at reducing parades and interface tensions have resumed in Belfast with agreement to continue to try to improve relations between loyalists and the PSNI.
The talks started in May, when police, community representatives and politicians gathered in Cardiff to discuss ways of easing tensions before the marching season kicked off.
Despite the Cardiff talks in May, which police said would make the summer safer, Northern Ireland witnessed one of the most heated parading seasons of recent years.
Following yesterday's meeting Assistant Chief Constable George Hamilton, who has facilitated the talks, described the discussion as "constructive, open and frank".
He said the group had agreed on a number of points, including that the Richard Haass talks had a "profound importance on the future". Participants also agreed that principles agreed in Cardiff were "fundamental" to building relations.
Junior Minister Jonathan Bell MLA said: "We support the rule of law but what we're doing in a meeting shared with the police is looking at how we can build relationships."