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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 March 2006, 11:29 GMT
DUP 'may talk to paramilitaries'
DUP deputy leader Peter Robinson
Peter Robinson said the DUP may meet loyalist paramilitaries
The DUP is close to the point where it will talk to loyalist paramilitaries about ending violence and criminality, Peter Robinson has said.

The party's deputy leader was speaking after meeting the International Monitoring Commission on Tuesday.

"I think there is a significant group within the loyalist paramilitaries who are wanting to see violence and criminality ended," he said.

He said the party is open to be convinced that this was possible.

"If we are convinced we can bring that day sooner, then clearly we would have a responsibility to do that," the East Belfast MP said.

Earlier this month, the IMC said loyalist paramilitaries remained heavily involved in organised crime, although there were signs of a possible readiness to abandon some criminality.

The commission was set up in January 2004 by the British and Irish governments to monitor paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland.

Its four members also monitor the "normalisation" of security measures.




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