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PSNI and loyalists in talks to ease tensions

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PSNI officers on the Lower Newtownards road, Belfast January 5 2013

PSNI officers on the Lower Newtownards road, Belfast January 5 2013

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Loyalists clash with PSNI officers on the Newtownards road in east Belfast this afternoon.

Loyalists clash with PSNI officers on the Newtownards road in east Belfast this afternoon.

Loyalists hurled bricks and other missiles at police during violence clashes on the Twelfth of July.

Loyalists hurled bricks and other missiles at police during violence clashes on the Twelfth of July.

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Battle lines: PSNI officers at Ardoyne during violence this summer

Battle lines: PSNI officers at Ardoyne during violence this summer

 An injured officer is helped away on Friday night

An injured officer is helped away on Friday night

Loyalists confronted police in North Belfast on the Twelfth of July, following the decision to bar Orangemen from walking through Ardoyne

Loyalists confronted police in North Belfast on the Twelfth of July, following the decision to bar Orangemen from walking through Ardoyne

PA Wire/Press Association Images

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PSNI officers on the Lower Newtownards road, Belfast January 5 2013

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."

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